The Millennial Issue
By G. E. Jones
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Different Positions in the Millennium
The Fact of the Millennium
Symbolism of Revelation
Inspired Method of Dealing with Visions and Symbols
The Place of the Reign
The First Resurrection
Mr. Kempin Answered – Twenty-Four Objections
History of the Doctrine
The Doctrine of the Early Churches
The Alogi and Montanists
Doctor Whitby’s Testimony
Opposition to the Doctrine in the East
Philo and the Allegorical Method
Oxman Sees Women as Key to Church
Opposition in the Western Churches
Kempin Witnesses against Himself
Antioch against the Alexandrian Method, Etc
Other Objections Considered
David’s Throne in Heaven
The Last Days
Every Eye Shall See Him
The Battleground of Our Day
As this age draws toward the end the picture becomes clearer and clearer to the student of prophecy. It becomes more and more apparent that the personal reign of Christ on this earth is a vital question. I have always felt that there was much more involved in this question that most people realized. Now I know this is so. Today the lines are being more closely drawn. Modernists, social reformers, unionizers, legalists, and all heresies and the forces that are working to bring the Antichrist into power are lining themselves up against the Premillennialists. The doctrines the Premillennialists are preaching are in the way of the formation of a world government and a universal federation of all religious bodies into one vast religious hierarchy. It was the same in the early centuries of Christianity. It is so today. For the first two and one half centuries the majority of Christians believed that Christ and His saints would reign a thousand years on this earth. They looked for Christ to return in person and reign in person over the nations of the earth. As long as this was the prevailing opinion among professed believers there could not come into existence the system of Popery, or the idea that Christ was now reigning over the nations through a vicegerent, the Pope. The doctrine that Christ will return in person to reign over the nations of earth, and the doctrine that He is now reigning over the nations through a vicegerent are opposed to each other. As long as the majority of professing believers held to the first doctrines such a system as Popery could not prevail. It was therefore necessary for the majority of those in positions of influence and leadership to be turned away from the belief in the Pre-millennial position before such a system as Popery could be developed. The Devil used such men as Caius, presbyter of Rome, Origen of Alexandria, Dionysius, Jerome, and Augustine to turn many of the churches away from Pre-millennial truth to an allegorical interpretation of all prophecies with reference to the reign of Christ and the restoration of Israel, the throne of David, and the regeneration of this earth. In this connection I wish to quote from "Seven Dispensations,” by J. R. Graves, pages 562-63.
"Daniel Whitby, D.D., was born in Northampshire, England 1638. His ability and education is unquestioned yet we are at antipodes with the millennial scheme of which he is the acknowledge originator. But he bears a noble testimony for Pre-millennialism. Hear him: “The doctrine of the millennium, or the reign of saints on earth a thousand years, is now rejected by all Roman Catholics, and by the greater part of Protestants, and yet it passed among the best of Christians for two hundred and fifty years for a tradition apostolic; and as such is delivered by many fathers of the second and third century, who spake of it as the tradition of our Lord and His apostles, and of all the ancients that lived before them; who tell us the very words in which it was delivered, the Scriptures, which were then so interpreted, and say that it was held by all Christians who were exactly orthodox.”
From this we see that the early Christians held to the idea that Christ and His saints would reign on earth a thousand years. We also see that this doctrine is rejected by Roman Catholics, and by the greater part of Protestants, or those who came out from Rome. Baptists are not Protestants. I want the reader to keep this in mind. The early Christians and early fathers who followed the apostles were in the main Pre-millennialists. But ALL Roman Catholics, and most of those who came out from Rome, are against this doctrine. I think the merits of a doctrine can be measured to a great extent by considering who adhere to that doctrine and who oppose it. I challenge anyone to find a modernist who is a Pre-millennialist, or one who is for the Federal Council of Churches, or for a world government, who believes it. The attitude of this present world system toward our Lord is reflected in its bitter opposition to His return to this earth to reign. “We will not have this man to reign over us,” -- Luke 19:11-27.
The teaching of Pre-millennialists that Christ is coming back to this earth to take over its affairs and reign in person is against what the modernists, social reformers, and unionizers propose to accomplish. It condemns all their wisdom and efforts to establish a righteous, peaceful world order as vain, unbiblical and doomed to failure. It takes this task out of their hands and puts it in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a close relationship between the doctrine of salvation by works and the idea that men will usher in a time of peace and righteousness. One teaches that the individual’s salvation depends upon his own works. The other teaches that the salvation of the world depends upon its works. On the other hand, the Word of God teaches that this earth, like the sinner, can only be delivered by the supernatural intervention of Christ Jesus in its behalf. Premillennialism is a millennium by grace. It is one that is to be ushered in by the supernatural return of Christ. In the salvation of the sinner, grace intervenes when there is an end of human works. It will be so in the redemption of this earth from the evils and woes that beset it. When human wisdom and works have dismally failed and reached an end, then the Lord will intervene by His supernatural power and coming.
The natural man has always resented the interference of God in his life and plans. He wants no supernatural work in his behalf. He feels himself entirely capable of bringing about his own salvation, spiritual and otherwise. As a rule, he is willing to recognize the existence of a supreme being, but he wants no close relationship with God. Because of this, he is opposed to the work of the Spirit of grace in his heart. Because of this he is opposed to the supernatural intervention of Christ in behalf of the nations. This takes the task out of his hands and puts in the hands of Christ alone.
For over thirty years, I have studied closely the trend of religious opinions and movements. I have seen the world being turned away from the gospel of Christ to a gospel of social reform. I have seen the faith of men being turned away from what Christ is going to do to what man proposes to do. I believe the time is here when those who expect to be loyal to Christ and His word should take a firm, positive stand on the millennial question.
Come time ago, someone, who did not wish to reveal his, or her name, sent me some literature which opposed the thousand years reign. This literature is put out by the so-called “Bible Truth Depot” in Swengel, PA. I ordered a book that was advertised as an eye-opener on this question. The title of the book is “Why the Millennial Doctrine is Not Biblical.” The author of the book is Albert J. Kempin. While the book I secured was sold by the “Bible Truth Depot” in Swengel, PA., the book was printed by the so-called “Gospel Trumpet Company” of Anderson, Indiana. Along with this book I received a number of tracts on the same line. In this work I propose to answer this book and these tracts. In so doing I wish to set forth the teaching of the Word of God in such a way that our people may be brought to a clearer understanding of the teaching of the Bible on this line and may be brought to a realization of the situation that confronts us today.
-- G. E. Jones
DIFFERENT POSITIONS ON THE- MILLENNIUM THE MEANING OF THE WORD "MILLENNIUM"
The word "Millennium" means a thousand years. It is derived from two Latin words, "Mille," which means a thousand, and "Annum," which means a year. While the word "Millennium" does not occur in our English translations, yet its equivalent does. The expression "Thousand years" occurs six times in Rev. 20:2-7. Those who believed in this doctrine in the centuries following the apostolic age were called "Chiliasts" by those who opposed them. This term came from the Greek word "Chilia," which means a thousand.
THE DIFFERENT POSITIONS ON THE MILLENNIUM
There are three main positions with reference to the, thousand years reign mentioned in Rev. 20:2-7. Some believe this thousand years will come before Christ returns. Some believe that Christ must come before the thousand years reign. Others deny that there will be such a thing as a thousand years reign. The first are called Post-millennialists. The second are called Pre-millennialists. The third are called Non-millennialists.
The Postmillennialists are so called because they believe that the second coming of Christ will be after the thousand years reign mentioned in Rev. 20:2-7. Dr. Daniel Whitby of Northhampshire, who was born in 1638, was the originator of this position. They believe that the world will get better instead of worse, and that through the preaching of the gospel and other influences for good that the nations will finally be persuaded to cease from war, and an age of peace and righteousness will come in. After this thousand years of peace and righteousness Christ will return and a general resurrection and a general judgment will take place. Favorite expressions with the Postmillennialists are "Bringing in the kingdom," and "Taking the world for Christ." They think it is the business of the churches to win this world over to Christ. Their long range programs are built around this false conception of the millennium. The tendency among them is to institutionalism. They put great stress on secular training. They are drifting more and more into a social gospel, and they are putting less and less stress on individual regeneration, blood redemption, and personal repentance and faith. With them the high mark of spirituality is to be loyal to their co-operative programs and their denominational leaders.
The Pre-millennialists are so called because they believe that Christ must return before the thousand years reign can come. They believe the gospel is to be preached as a witness to all nations, but they do not believe it will be anything like universally accepted. They believe conditions will grow worse and worse in this world .They believe that wars, revolutions, and violence will fill the earth until the end, even as it was in Noah's time. They believe that the closing days of this present age will witness such days of trouble, wickedness and disaster as the world has never seen. They believe that the Antichrist or beast will be in power on earth when Jesus comes back to the earth to reign. They believe that when our Lord returns to earth to reign the beast or Antichrist will be overcome and cast into the lake of fire, and the Devil will be bound for a thousand years. They believe that after this the earth shall have the thousand years reign of Christ and His saints, and that Christ will occupy the throne of David (reestablished) in Jerusalem, and reign from that throne. They believe in two bodily resurrections, one for the righteous, the other for the unjust, these resurrections being a thousand years apart. Pre-millennialists believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His vicarious death and sufferings, His bodily resurrection, the new birth, the inspiration of the Bible, and His glorious bodily return, not only in the air (I Thess. 4:13-17), but also back to this earth itself, Zech. 14:4, and Rev. 19 :11-21.
The Non-millennialists are those who do not believe there will be such a thing as a thousand years reign. They seek to bring the Book of Revelation into disrepute by saying it is too highly figurative to be understood, and that it was not meant to be understood. They, as a rule, do not claim to know anything about the Book of Revelation, and they deny that anyone else does. They thus charge the Lord with giving to His people a book written in such language that it is impossible for them to know what He meant or to profit by the book. They discourage the study of this book and frown upon those who teach and preach it. In the days following the apostolic times the Non-millennialists rejected the Book of Revelation and spoke of it as a book of fables. Not only do they seek to discredit the Book of Revelation and its study but they twist and turn the prophecies of the Old Testament to suit their fancies and to explain away the plainly revealed truths concerning our Lord's earthly reign. With them, the Bible never means what it says, and it never says what it means. Every prophecy of Scripture has to be beat out on their anvil and reworked to suit their own theory before being accepted. They pay no attention to the words of Peter who said, "No prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation" (II Peter 1:20), and go right on their way putting their own private interpretation on all prophecy. With them Israel does not mean Israel, but the church. David's throne does not mean David's throne, but the throne of the Heavenly Father in heaven. Mt. Olives does not mean Mt. Olives, but something else. A thousand years does not mean a thousand years, but an indefinite period of time, maybe ten days, maybe a longer time. (I read after one man who made it to be the ten days between our Lord's ascension and the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost.) Immediately does not mean immediately, but perhaps two thousand years. (I had one Non-millennialist to tell me that.) Canaan land does not mean Canaan land. Everlasting means everlasting when connected with the punishment of the wicked, and some of them have it meaning that when connected with the believer's life, but when it is found connected with God's covenant with Abraham then everlasting no longer means everlasting.
I expect to show that both the Post-millennialists and the Non-millennialists play into the hands of the modernists and infidels. Many of the arguments which they use to discredit the doctrine of the Pre-millennialists are like the arguments infidels have used to discredit the Bible and Christianity as a whole.
I expect to show that in fighting and opposing the preaching of Pre-millennialists, the Non-millennialists and Post-millennialists are helping to keep people in ignorance as to what is coming on the world in the last days of this age, and that they are lending encouragement to the movements of Antichrist which are among us today.
THE FACT OF THE MILLENNIU
The fact of the thousand years reign is plainly stated in the Word of God, just as much so as the fact that the one who believes in Christ shall be saved. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be (future) priests of God and of Christ, and shall (future) reign with Him a thousand years," Rev. 20:6. Now, let us put this statement side by side with Acts 16:31.
"They shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years," Rev. 20:6.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," Acts 16:31.
The statement about the thousand years reign is as positive and as plain as Paul's statement to the Philippian jailor about salvation. The man who sets himself to disprove the fact of the thousand years reign sets out to prove that this part of the Bible is not true. We cannot prove with one 'part of the Bible that what it plainly affirms in another place is not true. To attempt to do so is to array the Scriptures against themselves and discredit the same in the eyes of the unbelieving world. Here is a stone wall against which all Non-millennialists may beat out their theological brains, but they can never upset the fact of the thousand years reign. If they can prove with some other part of the Bible that there is to be no thousand years reign, then with the same argument the infidel can prove that the Bible contradicts itself. It plainly states in one place that certain ones, who are called, "Blessed and holy," shall reign with Him (Christ) a thousand years. If some other part of the Bible teaches that this is not true, then a contradiction has been found in the Bible and we may as well surrender the whole ground to the infidel. We do not find in the Bible such a statement as "There shall be no such a time as a thousand years reign of the Lord and His people." But we do find people trying to so manipulate the Scriptures as to make them teach the very thing expressed in that statement. Thus they are handling the Word of God in such a way as to make it say in one place the very opposite of what it says in another, and on the same subject. I ask, is this not seeking to discredit the Scriptures in the eyes of the world? Starting with the fact of the thousand years reign, let us work out from that point. Many insist on understanding all the details connected with the thousand years reign before they are willing to accept the plainly stated fact of this reign. The same method of procedure keeps the infidel from accepting the fact of the resurrection of Christ and the new birth, and our future resurrection. All search after truth must start with some plainly understood and known facts and from that point proceed to search after the complicated and the unknown. The man who waits to understand all the details connected with any truth before accepting a plainly proven fact will never make any progress. Especially is this so with the Word of God. We must first believe because God has spoken, and not because we understand all the why and the wherefore. To refuse to accept a plainly stated fact in the Word of God is to impeach the testimony of God Himself. To withhold our belief in a plainly stated fact in the Bible until we have been shown how such a thing can be is to demand that God's Word be proven true before we accept it. This might be in place for an infidel but it is certainly unbecoming in those who profess to be followers of Christ.
SYMBOLISM OF REVELATION
Opponents of the thousand years reign try to discredit the testimony of the Book of Revelation by saying the book is highly symbolic. By the same method we can discredit the words of John concerning Christ when he referred to Him as "The Lamb of God." The word "Lamb" is certainly used symbolically in that place. But millennial critics do not stumble over this, nor do those who believe in the inspiration of the Bible miss its meaning. Certainly we have many symbols in the Book of Revelation, but those symbols are explained for us by divine inspiration and we are not left to guess as to their meaning. Neither does the use of symbols argue that we are not to look for a literal fulfilment of this symbolic prophecy, but rather that we should expect a literal fulfilment. The Book of Daniel is very much like the Book of Revelation, and deals with many of the same truths. Many of the symbols in the Book of Daniel have already had a literal fulfilment and they concerned literal world powers. In the eighth chapter of Daniel the prophet had a vision in which he saw a he goat run into a ram and destroy him. The 20th verse explains the ram and his two horns to represent the kings of Media and Persia. The next verse tells us that the he goat is the king of Grecia. The words "Ram" and "He goat" are symbols. But these symbols are explained to mean literal kings, and this symbolic prophecy had a literal fulfilment in the rise of literal world kings and powers. The four beasts Daniel saw in Dan. 7:3 are said to be four kings in Dan. 7:17. The word beast in Dan. 7:3 is a symbol. But the symbol is explained for us and it had a literal fulfilment in the rise of four world kings. This cannot be denied. Then why object to the same system of symbolism in the Book of Revelation having a literal fulfillment?
THE INSPIRED METHOD OF DEALING WITH VISIONS AND SYMBOLS
The inspired method of dealing with prophetic visions and symbols is to change the tense from past to future when an explanation of the vision and the symbolism is given. I shall prove this with a few passages from Daniel and Revelation.
"Daniel spake and said, I saw (past tense) in my vision by night,—and four great beasts came (past tense) up from the sea," Dan. 7:2-3.
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION
"These great beasts which are four kings, which shall (future) arise out of the earth," Dan. 7:17.
"After this I saw (past tense) in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had (past tense) great iron teeth: it devoured (past tense) and brake (past tense) in pieces,—and it had (past tense) ten horns," Dan. 7:7.
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION
"Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be (future) the fourth kingdom upon the earth, which shall be (future) diverse from all kingdoms, and it shall devour (future) the whore earth, and it shall tread (future) it down, and break (future) it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall (future) arise," Dan. 7:23.
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw (past tense) a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having (past tense) seven heads and ten horns," Rev. 17:3.
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION
"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet (They were yet future); but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give (future) their power and strength unto the beast," Rev. 17:12.
From the above examples we see that when we are given a record of what happened in a vision the past tense is used. But when the tense is changed from past to future an inspired interpretation of that vision is being given. Now let us apply that principle to Rev. 20:4 and Rev. 20:6.
"And I saw (past tense) thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast and his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived (past tense) and reigned (past tense) with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were (past) finished," Rev. 20:4-5.
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION
"This is the first resurrection (John is now explaining.) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be (future) priests of God and Christ, and shall reign (future) with him a thousand years," Rev. 20:5, 6.
Here we see the tense changes from past to future even as in Daniel when an interpretation of a vision is being given. In the fourth verse and the first part of the fifth verse we have recorded that Dart of John's vision concerning a resurrection and the thousand years reign. In that record John uses the past tense. It has to do with the vision which was past. But in the last part of verse five, and in verse six, John is giving his own explanation or interpretation of the vision. The tense now changes from past to future. In the vision which was past it was "And they lived (past) and reigned (past) with Christ a thousand years." In John's interpretation of that vision it is "They shall be (future) priests of God and Christ, and shall reign (future) with him a thousand years." We need go no further. We are now out of the vision and standing on the ground of an inspired interpretation of the vision. This should be the end of all controversy. The critics can no longer have any right to hide behind the plea of visions and symbols. John furnishes us with an explanation, and he says in positive language "They shall be (future) priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Anyone who seeks to give any other meaning to Rev. 20:4 is setting aside an inspired interpretation for his own private interpretation. He is hindering the truth in unrighteousness, Rom. 1:18 R. V.
THE PLACE OF THE REIGN
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests : and we shall reign on the EARTH," Rev. 5:9-10.
There are two positive statements in the above quotation to which I wish to call attention. First, Christ is said to have redeemed people by His blood from every kindred and people. Second, those thus redeemed clearly say they shall reign on the earth. The modernist denies both statements. He denies that Christ has redeemed people with His blood. He also denies that those so redeemed shall reign on the earth.
The Non-millennialist meets the modernist half way. He claims to believe that Christ has redeemed people by His blood from every people. But then he turns around and agrees with the modernist in denying that those same redeemed ones shall reign on the earth. So the Non-millennialist has left the ranks of the true believers and has taken the first step toward modernism. Had that first step never been taken by others we would not have modernism. I boldly affirm that Non-millennialists and Post-millennialists are headed in the direction of modernism and apostasy.
A close comparison of Rev. 5:10 and Rev. 20:6 show us that the thousand years reign is under consideration in Rev. 5:10 where the redeemed say, "We shall reign on the earth." In this connection they are said to be priests and kings. In Rev. 20:6 they are said to be priests of God and Christ and reign (here we have kings) a thousand years.
"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High," Dan. 7:27.
The kingdom that is UNDER the whole heaven can be nowhere else but on the earth. Anyone with eyes to see can see that if they will but open their eyes. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth," Matt. 5:5.
"And he that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod (sceptre) of iron," Rev. 2:26-27.
The overcoming takes place in this present age. The reigning over the nations will come hereafter as a reward for keeping the works of Christ to the end. One of the works of Christ will be to reign on this earth and bring all things in subjection.
In due time other Scriptures will come up showing that the reign will be on this earth.
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
Pre-millennialists have always believed that the first resurrection mentioned in Rev. 20:5-6 would be the bodily resurrection of the dead in Christ. Post-millennialists and Non-millennialists have tried to escape the farce of Pre-millennial argument in this place by claiming that the first resurrection is the new birth. A few Non-millennialists apply it to the people who came out of their graves when Christ was crucified and resurrected. I shall give that due attention in time.
The English word "Resurrection" is translated from the Greek word "Anastasis." This word means a standing or rising up. It is found 42 times in the New Testament. It. occurs 40 times in the Gospels and the Epistles, and twice in Revelation. This word is translated "Resurrection" 39 times. In Mark 9:10 it is translated "Rising again." In Acts 26:23 it is translated "That should rise." In Heb. 11:23 it is translated "Raised to life again." One time this word is compounded. It is "Exanastasis," and it is found in Phil. 3:11. It means "A standing up out of." If we count this compounded form of "Anastasis" then we have just 43 times this word occurs in the New Testament. In no case in the Gospels and the Epistles does it refer to anything but the body. The new birth is nowhere in the Bible called a resurrection. Neither can the Greek word "Anastasis" ever be found applied to the new birth or regeneration. If the reader will bear with me I shall show that in the Gospels and Epistles it always applies to the body.
The word resurrection (Gr. Anastasis) occurs ten times in our Lord's conversation with the Sadducees about the woman who had married seven brothers. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection and they were trying to trap Jesus with their question as to whose wife she would be in the resurrection. In the three accounts we have of this conversation the word resurrection is found ten times, Matt. 22:23; 22:28 ; 22:30; 22:31; Mark 12:18; 12:23; Luke 20:27; 20:33; 20:35, and 20:36. It is easy to see that a bodily resurrection from the dead is under consideration in these places.
The word is found twice in John 5:28-29: "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Again the body is under consideration.
The word is found twice in connection with the raising of Lazarus. Martha said, "I know he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus replied, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live," John 11:24-25. A bodily resurrection is under consideration in these two places.
We find the word resurrection in Luke 14:14 where Jesus tells His disciples they shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
The word "resurrection" is found eleven times in connection with our Lord's resurrection. In Matt. 27:53 it is translated from the Greek word "Egersis." In the other places it is a translation of the word "Anastasis," Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:33; 17:18; 17:32; Rom. 1:4; 6:5; Phil. 3:10; I Peter 1:3; I Peter 3:21. No one could say that regeneration was under consideration in any of these places.
The word "resurrection" (Anastasis) is found four times in the 15th chapter of First Corinthians where Paul is proving by the resurrection of Christ that the dead do rise, I Cor. 15:12; 15:13; 15:21; 15:42.
In Acts 4:1-2 we find the Sadducees were grieved because the apostles preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Then in Acts 23:8 we find that the Sadducees say there is no resurrection. The body is under consideration in these places.
In Acts 24:2.1 Paul, in his defense before Felix, said that he was called in question touching the resurrection of the dead which he preached. By going back to Acts 23:6-10 we read that a great tumult had been raised in Jerusalem between the Sadducees and the Pharisees when Paul declared that he was a Pharisee on the question of the resurrection of the dead. The Roman soldiers had to intervene to keep Paul from being pulled in pieces. So Paul had in mind a bodily resurrection both in Acts 23:6 and 24:21. Then in Acts 24:15 Paul declared his belief in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
In II Tim. 2:17-18 Paul said certain men had erred in saying the resurrection was past already. Paul did not believe it to be past, but future. This shows that he had the body in mind.
The English word "resurrection" is found twice in the Book of Hebrews. In Heb. 6:2 the writer speaks about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. In Heb. 11:35 he speaks about certain ones who were being tortured would not accept deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. The connection shows plainly that the body is under consideration. In the same verse it is said that women received their dead raise to life again. Here the Greek verb "anastaseos" is used. We still have the body under consideration.
In Phil. 3:10, Paul spoke about the death and resurrection of Christ and in the next verse he expressed his desire to attain "unto the resurrection (Gr. Exanastasis) from the dead." This also refers to the body.
After our Lord's transfiguration He told Peter, James and John to say nothing about the matter until He was risen from the dead. Then the apostles questioned among themselves what the rising from the dead (Gr. Anastanai) should mean, Mark 9:10.
The above takes into consideration every place the word resurrection is found in the New Testament and every place the noun "Anastasis," or its verb form occurs, except the two places in Rev. 20:5-6. Here again we have the English word "resurrection" and the Greek word "anastasis." Now, if this English word "resurrection" and the Greek word "anastasis" have their application to the body in all the places where they occur in the Gospels and the Epistles, then by what process of logic can one reason that it means something different in Rev. 20:5-6? I ask do not those who claim that regeneration is under consideration here throw all Bible examples and usage to the winds and strike out in a direction foreign to all other Scriptures? In the many places in the Gospels and Epistles where the new birth is under consideration the words "resurrection" and "anastasis" are never found. And in all places in the Gospels and the Epistles where these words are found the reference is clearly to the body. Then I ask what Scriptural authority and example do Post-millennialists and Non-millennialists have to justify them in saying that the word resurrection as found in Rev. 20:5-6 refers to the new birth, and not to a bodily resurrection?
But if it be argued that Paul taught that the new birth was a resurrection in Eph. 2:6, where he said, "God hath raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ," then I can assure them that the new birth is not under consideration in this place. Paul is simply setting forth our federal position in Christ Jesus in this place. In Eph. 1:20, Paul speaks about God raising Christ from the dead and setting Him at His own right hand in HEAVENLY PLACES. Surely Paul was talking about the bodily resurrection of Jesus in this place. In Eph. 2:6, in which he is talking about the same thing that is under consideration in Eph. 1:20, Paul tells us that God hath raised us up together, (that is, together with Christ) and made us sit together in HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ Jesus. Christ was raised up from the dead, bodily. At the same time, in God's reckoning, we were raised up bodily with Him and in Him, our federal head. After His bodily resurrection Christ was made to sit down bodily at God's right hand in the HEAVENLY PLACES. At the same time God made us to sit together with Him, our Federal Head, in heavenly places. This passage simply means that in the reckoning of God we were all raised from the dead in the resurrection of our Federal Head, Jesus Christ, when He rose from the dead. When He was glorified and exalted to His own right hand in the HEAVENLY PLACES, then, in God's mind, we were also glorified and made to sit in HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ Jesus, our Federal Head.
This takes away from the Post-millennialists and Non-millennialists the last vestige of an argument they can make on the new birth being a resurrection. It is never called such in the Bible. That is simply some of their twisting of the Scriptures in a vain effort to dodge Pre-millennial truth.
In closing this part of this work I wish to consider the theory that the first resurrection has reference to those who came out of their graves when Christ arose. Such an interpretation wholly ignores all references to the beast and his mark, and the death some who are in the first resurrection shall suffer. This death they will suffer (a physical death) for refusing to worship the beast or receive his mark. All this was still future when the saints came out of their graves at the resurrection of Jesus. This interpretation shows ignorance of the divisions of the Book of Revelation. Jesus Himself divided the Book of Revelation into three divisions. John was told to write: (1) "The things which thou hast seen." (2) "And the things which are." (3) "And the things which shall be hereafter," Rev. 1:19. So the third and last division was about things which were to be afterwards. By turning to Rev. 4:1 we find that the third and last division of the Book of Revelation starts with that verse. Here a voice said to John, "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which MUST BE HEREAFTER." So the part of Revelation which deals with the things HEREAFTER commences with Rev. 4:1 and continues to the end of the book. The resurrection of Christ and the incident about the saints coming out of their graves were already past when John was given this revelation. By no means could they be classed as "things which must be HEREAFTER." So all the things about the beast, his mark, the first resurrection, the thousand years reign, the great white throne judgment, and the coming, down of the New Jerusalem all belonged to the future in the days when John received this revelation. These critics would do well to make a careful study of the Book of Revelation, its three divisions, where those three divisions are found, and with what they deal. I have my first person to see yet except Pre-millennialists who paid the least attention to the divisions of the book our Lord made in Rev. 1:19 and Rev. 4:1. It is no wonder they blunder so in the Book of Revelation when they go about its study in such a haphazard way. In fact not many of them make any effort to study this book and to know its contents. The Non-millennialists of the early centuries rejected the Book of Revelation as being inspired. The Non-millennialists of today, as a rule, give it a good letting alone. So far as they are concerned it may as well not have been inspired. Most of them have as little to do with it as they do the Koran of the Mohammedans.
In the argument presented above I have shown that the first resurrection is a bodily resurrection of the saved. Neither have I yet used all the argument that is to be made on this line. Since the first resurrection is the bodily resurrection of the saved it will not come until Christ returns. In speaking of the order of the resurrection, Paul said, "Every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits: afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming," I Cor. 15:23. This verse tells us plainly that it is Christ's people that shall be raised at His return. There is not a hint here about the resurrection of the wicked at the same time. Their resurrection must come later. In Rev. 20:5 John tells us it will not be until after the thousand years: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Since Christ must come before the saints can rise, then the thousand year’s reign, which comes after the first resurrection, must come after our Lord's return. So Pre-millennialists are right. We shall have more on this later on.
MR. KEMPIN ANSWERED
In this part of the book I shall take up the twenty-four reasons Mr. Kempin gave for not believing in the thousand years reign. Since they are not really reasons I shall list them as objections. I shall turn Mr. Kempin's own guns back on him and condemn him with his own argument. His work is full of self-contradictions and colossal blunders. He displays a disposition to misrepresent Pre-millennial truth and create prejudice in the minds of his readers. He also shows ignorance of the Pre-millennial position and a very imperfect knowledge of the teachings of God's Word.
Along with the consideration of Mr. Kempin's work I shall also consider some of the other tracts which I received which assail the Pre-millennial position. In answering these I shall be answering the quibbles of all who oppose and fight the millennial truth as set forth in the Word of God.
FIRST OBJECTION: IT ROBS JESUS OF HIS THRONE AND CROWN.
This is the first objection Mr. Kempin offers to
try to show why the millennial doctrine is not Biblical. I shall turn
that charge around and place it on him. He and all his kind are the ones
who would take from Jesus His throne and His crown. The
Pre-millennialists are the only ones who believe and teach that Jesus
will receive the throne and the crown promised Him.
Under his first reason, or objection, Mr. Kempin
says, "Jesus has a kingdom now." Pre-millennialists do not deny this.
But Mr. Kempin does not seem to know that Jesus teaches that there are
three phases to the kingdom of God.
In Mark 4:26-28
Jesus likens the kingdom of God to the seed of corn that is planted in
the earth. He says, in this connection, "The earth bringeth forth fruit
of herself: first the
blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Here
we find three stages or phases of the kingdom. We have:
(1) The blade, (2) The ear, (3) The full corn in the ear.
Mr. Kempin would only have one stage or phase. He
would cut it short in the blade stage. He sure would make a fine
farmer. He would cut his corn down when the blade first shows through
the ground. But at that he would be
as good a farmer as he is a Bible teacher. We admit that the first phase
started when Christ was here the first time. But there are other phases,
and the thousand years reign is another one of those phases.
In his effort to upset the millennial doctrine,
Mr. Kempin contradicted himself. On page 5 he quoted part of Isaiah 9:6,
7 to prove that Christ had a kingdom in His first advent into the world.
I shall quote what he quoted, and after that what he left off: "Unto us
a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be
upon his shoulder. . . . Of the increase of his government there shall
be no end." But he failed to quote the next expression in Isaiah, which
reads: "Upon the throne of DAVID." That part of the quotation did not
fit his doctrine, so he had to leave it out. After quoting the words
above he said, "This reign is immediately associated with Christ's
birth—a Son is given. Our Lord claimed a kingdom in His first advent
into the world." Then he quoted John 18:36 and Matt. 24:14 to
substantiate his position that Christ had His kingdom during His first
advent. But hear him on the very next page. There he asks the question,
"When did Christ receive this kingdom?" Then he quotes Dan. 7:13. After
quoting this verse, he says, "Daniel saw Jesus ascending to God after
having suffered, bled and died, to begin His great mediatorial reign."
Page 6. So on page 5 Mr. Kempin said, Christ had His kingdom while He
was on earth during His first advent. But on the very next page He does
not receive it until after He has left the earth and gone back to
heaven. Mr. Kempin had better learn to keep straight with himself before
launching out to straighten out the
time was Mr. Kempin right? Was he right on page 5 when he said Christ
claimed a kingdom in His first advent, or was he right when he taught
that Christ did not receive that kingdom before going back to heaven?
After quoting Matt. 24:14, Mr. Kempin said, "Millennial teachers would have the end come and then the establishment of the kingdom of Christ, but Jesus said the kingdom would be shared through the preaching of the gospel and then the end would come," page 5. Now, just where did Jesus say anything about the kingdom being shared through the preaching of the gospel? I fail to read such an expression in Matt. 24:14. That verse says, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end came." This verse states that the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a witness unto all nations; and then the end should come. But it says nothing about sharing in a reign or kingdom during this time. The end of what shall come? I guess Mr. Kempin thinks this means the end of the earth. But it does not say so. In that chapter the apostles had asked Jesus about the end of the world (Gr. age). It matters little with me whether he takes the King James translation which renders this "world," or others which render it "age." The world is not the earth. The world is simply this present order of things which exists upon this earth. The Devil is said to be the god of this age or world, II Cor. 4:3, 4; Eph. 2:2; 6:11, 12. "The whole world lieth in the wicked one," I John 5:19, R.V. When this age ends this present world will end, but then Christ shall establish a new order of things and reign a thousand years on this earth. Millennial haters have never learned to discriminate between different terms. Because they have confused the words world and earth they think the end of the world means the end of the earth.
In the same connection Mr. Kempin used John 18:36, where Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Of course, it is not. If so He would have received His authority from the Devil and would be working in connection with the Devil, who is the god of this world. But Jesus nowhere said His kingdom or reign would not be on this earth. When Jesus returns to the earth to reign He will set aside this present world order, and establish a new order on the earth. "A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth," Jer. 23:5. "Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon the earth," Psalm 67:4.
On page 5, Mr. Kempin quoted Heb. 1:8 and Heb. 4:16 to try to show that Jesus is now upon His throne. Heb. 1:8 is a quotation from the 45th Psalm. Had Mr. Kempin read the connection closely he would have seen that the application is not to this present time, but to the second advent of Christ back to the earth. Let us read it: "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, 0 most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness;—thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. Thy throne O God is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre," Psalm 45:3-6. By comparing this passage with Rev. 19:11-21 where Christ is pictured coming on a white horse in righteousness and make war, we see they are the same. At that time He will destroy the armies and the kings of the earth, so this passage applies to His second coming to the earth.
In Heb. 4:16 the believer is admonished to come boldly to a throne of grace. That throne of grace is the throne of the Heavenly Father in heaven, not David's throne which was promised to Christ.
Then Mr. Kempin says, "Our Lord wears the crown of His sovereignty now. Jesus is not an uncrowned King. He wears His glorious crown now." To prove this statement he quotes Heb. 2:9, or part of it. "We see Jesus—crowned with glory and honour." He failed to finish the quotation, "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Mr. Kempin does not seem to know that there are two kinds of crowns mentioned in the New Testament. One is a crown denoting victory in a contest. That kind of crown Paul had under consideration when he was talking about runners running in a race. "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown," I Cor. 9:24, 25. No runner wins a crown of sovereignty by winning a race. He wins a crown of victory. The word in Greek for this crown is "Stephanos." The verb form of this word is "Stephavo," which means to crown the victor in a contest. This is the word used in Heb. 2:9 to which Mr. Kempin referred. As a victor over temptation, death and the grave, Jesus is crowned as victor. But the crown of sovereignty is denoted by another word. This word is "Diadema," meaning diadem, or crown. On page 136 of his Lexicon, Mr. Thayer says, "Stephanos" is the crown of victory and that "Diadema" is the crown as badge of royalty. We nowhere find Jesus wearing the "Diadema," crown of royalty, until John gives us a picture of Him at His second coming in Rev. 19:11-21. Here we read that "On his head were many crowns" (Diadema), Rev. 19:12. Mr. Kempin would have done well to have looked up on this instead of jumping to a conclusion on the matter.
Mr. Kempin denies that Jesus is going to reign from Jerusalem on earth, so he is the one who is robbing Jesus of His throne and His crown, for Jesus was promised the throne of His father David, and that throne was in Jerusalem. But this comes up more fully in his second objection.
SECOND OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIUM IS CENTERED IN AN EARTHLY JERUSALEM.
Under this objection Mr. Kempin said, "The teachers of the millennial doctrine point their followers to Jerusalem as the geographic location of the seat of Christ's reign." I shall abundantly prove from the Word of God that Jerusalem, on this earth, will be the place of the throne of Jesus.
When the angel appeared to Mary, who should be the mother of Jesus, he said to her, "Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David," Luke 1:31, 32. There are seven things.
I shall call attention to in this passage.
1. Mary was to conceive in her womb. This was literally fulfilled.
2. She was to bring forth a Son. This was literally fulfilled.
3. His name was to be Jesus. This was literally fulfilled.
4. He was to be great. This was literally fulfilled as well as otherwise.
5. He was to be called the Son of the Highest. This was literally fulfilled.
6. He was to be of the lineage of David. This was literally fulfilled.
7. He was to be given the throne of His earthly father David. This will be literally fulfilled.
8. Since David was the earthly father (ancestor) of Jesus, and David had an earthly throne in earthly Jerusalem, and this was the only throne David had, then how could Jesus inherit from David any other throne but the one David had' in earthly Jerusalem. I could only inherit something from my father which he possessed, not something he never possessed. No father ever bequeathed, or transmitted to a son something he never had, or never will have. David never possessed the throne of the Heavenly Father in heaven where Christ is now sitting. David only possessed a throne in earthly Jerusalem. Jesus was not promised the throne of His Heavenly Father in heaven, but He was promised the throne of His earthly father, David, which throne was in Jerusalem, and on this earth. The prophets tell us that Christ's throne will be in Jerusalem. "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah (Southern kingdom) shall walk with the house of Israel (Northern kingdom) and they shall come together out of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers," Jer. 3:17, 18. Let us see what we find here.
1. Jerusalem is to be called the throne of the Lord.
2. The nations are to be gathered unto it, to Jerusalem, to the name of the Lord.
3. At that time both the houses of Judah and Israel are to be gathered back to the land which God gave to their fathers. This is Canaan land and adjoining territories, and on this earth. God said to Abraham, "I will give thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of CANAAN, for an everlasting possession," Gen. 17:8.
4. After this Israel is to walk no more after the imagination of their evil heart.
Scriptures can be multiplied over and over showing that Jesus will reign in Jerusalem.
"The moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall be ashamed, when the
Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before
his ancients gloriously," Isa. 24:23. "When the Lord shall build up
Zion, he shall appear in his glory," Psalm 102:16. This has reference to
His second coming. Here is the proof. "When the Son of man shall come in
his glory, and all the holy angels with him, THEN shall he sit upon the
throne of his glory," Matt. 25:31. Our Lord Himself tells us that it is
when He shall come in His glory with His holy angels that He shall sit
on His throne. No place can be found where He will sit on His throne
(The one David had, and the one He was promised) this side of His return
to earth. So Mr. Kempin
loses on this one, and it is he and his doctrine that would rob Jesus of
His throne, not the one Premillennialists preach.
To uphold his objection, Mr. Kempin quoted John 4:21-23 where Jesus said to the Samaritan woman that the hour had come when the worshippers should neither worship in the mountain of Samaria, or at Jerusalem, but should worship the Father in spirit and in truth. It is true that worship is not centered in Jerusalem in this age, but the millennial age is another age, different from this one, and men shall again go to Jerusalem to worship. Jesus Christ, who is the One to worship, is not now in Jerusalem, and there is no need or occasion for us to go to Jerusalem to worship Him, because He is not there in body, nor is He there in Spirit more than anywhere else. But in the millennial age Jesus shall be in Jerusalem in person, and men shall go there to worship, because Christ, the object of worship, will be there. Here is the Scriptural proof of this. "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain," Zech. 14:17. It is easy to see that the Jerusalem under consideration is earthly Jerusalem, because it speaks of the families of earth - going up to Jerusalem to worship the King. The next verse reads: "If the family of Egypt go not up, and come not up, they have no rain." It is a strange thing that men who profess to be followers of Christ will criticize the Pre-millennialists for believing just what the Bible teaches.
Mr. Kempin goes on to talk about the heavenly Jerusalem, which is said to be the mother of us all, Gal. 4:26. He says, "In that city are found the holy angels, all the redeemed of all ages, Jesus our Lord and King, His matchless throne, and God our Father," page 7. It is true that there is a heavenly Jerusalem, and John tells us that it shall come down from God out of heaven, Rev. 21:2. But before this can be this earth must be made ready for it to come down. The thousand years reign will prepare the way for the New Jerusalem to come down. John's prophecy of that follows his prophecy of the thousand years reign, and the final judgment. Mr. Kempin can prove that Jesus, the Father, angels, and the spirits of departed saints are in heaven, but he is absolutely without proof that the throne of Christ is there. God's Word tells us the throne that He is to be given was the throne of His earthly father David, whose throne was in earthly Jerusalem. He was nowhere promised the throne of His Heavenly Father, which is in heaven.
"To him that overcometh will (future) I grant to sit with me in my throne (Here is one throne), even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne," Rev. 3:21. Here is a second throne. A man that cannot see two different thrones in this passage needs a guardian. The throne where Christ now sits is the throne of the Heavenly Father. It is in heaven, and has always been in heaven, even when David had a throne in earthly Jerusalem. But the Heavenly Father's throne in heaven is not the one the angel said would be given to Jesus. He said God would give Him the throne of His father, David. Surely David is not God the Father, nor is God the Father David. If David is not God the Father, then the throne which David had is not the throne upon which God the Father has always been sitting. To make the throne of David, which was promised to Jesus, the throne of the Heavenly Father, is to make David the Heavenly Father Himself. What gross absurdities men can involve themselves in when they seek to twist the truth of God's Word!
THIRD OBJECTION: IT IS BASED UPON AN EARTHLY PEOPLE.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin
says that the doctrine of a thousand years reign with Christ on earth
creates anew the problem of race superiority. He said that Jesus came to
tear down the middle wall of partition which kept mankind divided into
hostile camps. He used Eph. 1:10 and Gal. 4:4 to show that since Jesus
came, all national, racial, social, political and economic distinctions
between people are lost when they accept the mercy of God. I just wonder
if he believes all this. If so, he should not object to his daughter
marrying a black Negro, if that Negro is a child of God. Faith in Christ
does put all races on the same spiritual level, Gal. 3:28. But I
challenge him to prove that it puts them on the same social, political
and racial level. Just such foolish ideas as this is right now fanning
the flames of strife between the whites and blacks and is going to cause
bloodshed and rioting. Men had better let the laws of God alone. God has
placed some races in a place of servitude. "Cursed be Canaan; a servant
of servants shall he be unto his brethren," Gen. 9:25. Things go better
when men leave them like God placed them. Many believers in the days of
the apostles owned slaves. Eph. 6:5-9, and Philemon 1:21. I challenge
Mr. Kempin to find one place where the apostles ever taught the
believers to set their slaves free. The false idea that it is the
mission of the gospel to settle social, economic and political affairs
has drifted men away from the gospel of Christ to a social gospel. Just
such men as Mr. Kempin are playing into the hands of modernists and
helping to prepare the world for an ungodly church and national
federations which will put the beast in power. His blindness to
Pre-millennial truth keeps him from seeing this.
When it comes to the question of salvation and spiritual privileges God is rich unto all that call upon Him. Certainly the Jew who is a sinner is lost just as much as a Gentile. But that has nothing to do with social, economic and political affairs. The Jew himself is in this age under the political yoke of the Gentile nations. Jesus Himself said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,” Luke 21.24. This certainly does not look like political distinction has been done away.
Mr. Kempin said, “A new kind of Israel has come into being since Jesus gave His life as a ransom for sin.” Now, just where did he read that? To prove it he quotes Rom. 10:12. “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon his name.” If this proves that there came into existence a new kind of Israel since the death of Christ then it proves there came into existence a new kind of Greek since that day. He also quoted, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female.” Isn’t it strange what men think they can see in a verse of Scripture? Mr. Kempin seems to think that this proves that the Greek when he is saved becomes a Jew. If so, then it proves that when a male is saved he becomes a female, and the female becomes a male when saved. The same verse that reads, “There is neither Jew nor Greek,” also reads, “There is neither male nor female.” The same logic that would make the saved Greek a Jew, would make the saved Jew a Greek, the saved male a female, and the saved female a male. Maybe the death of Jesus brought into existence a new kind of females and males. Now, didn’t he have some argument? This verse does not mean that the Greek becomes a Jew when saved any more than it means the woman becomes a man when she is saved. It simply means that they all have the same spiritual privileges.
Pre-millennialists know that there is an elect Israel in the national
Israel. So are there elect
from among the Gentiles. But
there were an elect people in national Israel before Jesus ever came.
Elijah and the seven thousand in his day were just as much an
elect remnant out of Israel then, as Paul and the saved Israelites were
in Paul’s day, Rom. 11:1-7.
Sure, there will be an earthly people during the thousand years reign. Over whom does he think the glorified saints will reign? We will not reign over each other. A kingdom in its entirety has rulers, subjects and territory. Who ever heard of a kingdom in which there was nothing but rulers; no subjects at all? The Lord will carry a natural people over into the thousand year’s reign over which those who are being saved today shall reign in that age. "As the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their OFFSPRING with them," Isa. 65:22, 23. "The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: (Why) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," Isa. 11:8, 9. These and many others that might be quote to prove that there will be a natural people as well as glorified people on earth at that time.
FOURTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIAL DOCTRINE IGNORES THE SPIRITUAL NATURE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
This one proves a boomerang for Mr. Kempin. His own argument flies back and hits him in the face. Under this objection, he says, "Teachers of the millennium take such highly symbolic passages as Rev. 19:11-21 and interpret literally to mean that the holy Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, who never lifted up His voice in the streets or resorted to retaliation, and who laid down His life for His enemies, will at His second coming, actually mount a white charger and, with sword in hand, lead His followers into one of the most bloody battles of all time," page 10.
Here he objects to us teaching that Christ will, at His second coming, take vengeance on His enemies. He thinks what we teach with this passage about what Christ will do at His second coming is inconsistent with the character of the spotless Lamb of God, who never lifted up His voice in the streets or resorted to retaliation. But let us turn to page 29 in Mr. Kempin's book and we will see that he teaches the very same thing about the second coming of Christ, only he uses II Thess. 1:7-10. Here is what Mr. Kempin says:
"Paul points out the fact that at one and the same time Jesus will come in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time Jesus shall come to be glorified in His saints (II Thess. 1:7-10). LET THE READER NOTICE EVERY WORD OF THAT PASSAGE. (My capitals.) We notice them. We also notice that Mr. Kempin has fixed himself. At one and the same time our Lord will punish with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord those who know not God.” End of quotation.
After criticizing us for teaching with Rev. 19:11-21 that Christ would take vengeance on His enemies, he does the same thing with II Thess. 1:7-10. He has Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, who never lifted up His voice in the streets, or resorted to retaliation when He was here the first time, coming back in flaming fire taking vengeance on His enemies. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If it is right for him to use II Thess. 1:7-10 to teach that Christ will take vengeance on His enemies at His second coming, then why is it not all right for Pre-millennialists to use both this passage and Rev. 19:11-21? In fact, they both teach the same lesson and apply to the same occasion. In II Thess. 1:1-10 Jesus is revealed from heaven. In Rev. 19:11 John sees Him coming out of heaven. In the passage Mr. Kempin used Jesus is revealed with His mighty angels. In Rev. 19:14 John sees the armies of heaven coming with Christ.
"Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone it will return upon him," Prov. 26:27. He tried to roll a stone on us and it returned upon him.
"People who are truthful can be carefree and bold,
they don't remember every tale that they have told."
This proved a boomerang for Mr. Kempin. He fell in the pit he dug for us.
Under his fourth objection, Mr. Kempin quoted the words of Jesus to
Peter. "All they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword." Then
he said that Christ was pronouncing the same doom on His kingdom if so
be that He was coming back the second time to make war on His enemies.
This is another stone he rolled that came back on him. He said that
Christ was coming back to take vengeance, page 29. Now what shall he
say? Does he not know that vengeance is the prerogative of God? The Lord
says He will take vengeance. "Avenge not yourselves, but rather give
place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay,
saith the Lord," Rom. 12:19. A man that does not know better than this
needs to be in the primary class, instead of trying to instruct others.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin made an effort to prove that the kingdom of God was in the hearts of men. He quoted the words of Jesus to the wicked Pharisees, "The kingdom of God is within you," Luke 17:20. He went on to say that what was set forth here is that the kingdom of God is set up in the hearts of men and women who believe. Well, those wicked Pharisees to whom Jesus was talking were certainly not believers. Jesus surely did not teach that the kingdom of God was in the hearts of those wicked, unbelieving Pharisees. If Mr. Kempin had only read the marginal translation then he would have seen that Jesus was saying to those Pharisees that the kingdom of among them or God was in their midst. He missed the boat again.
FIFTH OBJECTION: IT OPENS THE DOOR FOR THE WILDEST KIND OF SPECULATION.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says, "Our generation has more than
its share of prophets, but most of them are prophets of gloom. Such
prophets of gloom have invented their Antichrists, battle of
Armageddon, tribulation, the mark of the beast, fanciful rapture, a
number of future comings of Christ, two physical resurrections, at least
five judgments, and the discovery of the lost tribes of Israel," etc.
If Mr. Kempin is going to reject a doctrine because that doctrine has been abused, then he will have to reject every doctrine in the Bible. In the past sixty years there has been at least a dozen new denominations arisen over different views about the work of the Holy Spirit. Some say there is no baptism of the Spirit today, others say there is. Some say the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes away the carnal nature, but does not enable one to speak in tongues. Some say it enables one to speak in tongues but does not take away the carnal nature. Some handle snakes and drink poison. Some climb saplings and wave their handkerchiefs at God. On the same ground the doctrine of the Holy Spirit could be rejected. On the same kind of argument the infidel could reject the whole Christian system. It is to the Devil’s interest to get some to abuse all doctrines of the Bible, and thus drive people away from the truth.
Mr. Kempin says, "Most of the prophets have been prophets of gloom." Pre-millennialists have been called prophets of gloom because they face the facts and the truths of God's Word and tell the people what is coming. Because we have no faith in the unscriptural movements of false religionists and world reformers we are branded as pessimists. So was Jeremiah branded as an alarmist and a traitor because he foretold the coming doom of Judah because of her sins. There was a bunch of false prophets in Jeremiah's day who opposed Jeremiah and tried to counteract all his warnings by prophesying smooth things to the people. Jeremiah said of them, "They have belied the Lord and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us neither shall we see sword or famine," Jer. 5:12. These false prophets had cried, "Peace, peace, when there is no peace," Jer. 6:14. But all their false optimism and denouncing of Jeremiah's warning about the day of gloom did not turn aside that doom. It came just the same. King Jehoiakim cut up the roll of Jeremiah's prophecy and burned it in the fire, but that did not turn away the day of doom, but only brought worse judgment on the king and his family. It is downright wicked to hold out a false optimism to the people. Mr. Kempin wants to do that. He is in the class with the false prophets of Jeremiah's day. Instead of warning people about the coming of the Antichrist, the tribulation period, and the mark of the beast, he, like the false prophets of Jeremiah's day, is giving the lie to God's Word which teaches that all these things are coming. Like the false prophets who opposed Jeremiah, who was faithful to declare the truth, though it was dark, he is opposing the Pre-millennialists in their faithfulness to warn the people about what is coming. It was blind, foolish optimism that placed a few thousand of our men, with poor equipment, on the Philippines to be butchered by the Japs in the last war. Intelligent military men warned our congressmen of what was coming and begged for proper equipment. They were denounced as war-mongers, alarmists and pessimists. But the war came even as they had warned, and our blind optimists left our poor boys without adequate equipment to be butchered. Their blood is on the hands of the foolish optimists. True watchmen will sound the warning, even if the news is not pleasant. Kempin and his bunch want to smooth things over and keep the people in ignorance as to what is coming. They are dumb dogs that cannot bark. "His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber--they are shepherds that cannot understand," Isa. 56:10, 11.
In his eleventh
objection Mr. Kempin puts the tribulation period in the past. So he is
not looking for the coming of a tribulation period, and it looks like he
does not believe in the battle of Armageddon, in the coming of the mark
of the beast, in but one bodily resurrection, but one judgment or but
one phase of our Lord's coming. Well, we shall see that the
Pre-millennial doctrine, and not Mr. Kempin, is right. Not many
Pre-millennialists go in for the British Israel theory, nor for the
Mormon idea that Salt Lake City will be where the Lord's throne will be.
But the Mormons have as much Scripture to prove that David's throne will
be in Salt Lake City as Mr. Kempin has to prove that it is in heaven. At
least, the Mormons get it on earth, and David's throne was on earth,
and Mr. Kempin does not even get it on earth. The Mormon theory is silly
and unscriptural, but not more so than the theory of Mr. Kempin and
certainly teaches that there is to be a battle of Armageddon. "And he
gathered them together into a place (A literal place) called in the
Hebrew tongue Armageddon," Rev. 16:16. In the verse above we find that
the spirits of devils will go unto the kings of the earth and the whole
world, to gather them together to the great battle of that great day of
God Almighty. The same battle is foretold by Zechariah, "Behold the DAY
OF THE LORD cometh,—for I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to
battle," Zech. 14:1, 2. In both places it is the kings of the whole
earth and world that are gathered together to battle. Both are connected
with the great DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY or DAY OF THE LORD. The Hebrew word
"Harmageddon" means "Mountain of destruction." It is here that the world
powers, which shall be headed up under the beast, will meet destruction.
In making light of such a battle Mr. Kempin is just showing his unbelief
in the Scriptures, both the prophecy of John and Zechariah.
The mark of the beast will also come, even if Mr. Kempin does not believe it. "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads : and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark of the beast, or the number of his name," Rev. 13:16, 17. And the people will be astonished when the beast does come. "And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is," Rev. 17:8. Some translations read: "And shall come." Dr. Williams translates it, "Shall be astonished," instead of "Shall wonder." Now, just who will be astonished? Those whose names are not in the book of life. Just why will they be astonished? Because such men as Mr. Kempin and others are fighting the preaching of Pre-millennialists and telling the people that all this matter about the coming of the beast and his mark is just Pre-millennial foolishness. I here and now charge Mr. Kempin and all his bunch with helping to keep the people in ignorance of what is coming, and thus lending aid to the Antichrist movements of today. Pre-millennialists will not be astonished when this takes place. They will not wonder. It is something they are expecting and telling the people about. They are the faithful servants in Matt. 24:45 who are giving the people meat in due season. Mr. Kempin and his group are the evil servants who say the Lord is delaying His coming, and are smiting the servants (Pre-millennialists) who are giving the people meat in due season, or, warning them of what is coming. On page 14, Mr. Kempin says, "Zealots rush around repeating in parrot-like form, 'He's coming soon; He's coming soon." So we see that Mr. Kempin does not believe He is coming soon. So he is exactly the evil servant who says "My Lord delayeth his coming," Matt. 24:48. He, and some others, need to think soberly on what our Lord had to say about the wise and the evil servants, and see in which group they are. I would hate to be in his place.
It is true, some have thought such men as Mussolini was the beast. And who can say he is not, since the beast is to come back again. In Rev. 11:7 we find that the beast is to come out of the bottomless pit, or the place where the spirits of the unbelieving dead are confined. So it is possible for Mussolini to be the one who shall come again. I am not saying he is the one. But someone will be the one. None but God can know just who the beast will be. But we know that Jesus told His people over and over to watch, and it is only natural that those who are watching should be in a state of expectancy. In the days of John the Baptist some thought he was the Christ, John 1:19, 20. We know the coming of Christ was then at hand, and the people were in a state of expectancy. Because some made the mistake of thinking John was the Christ was no reason to believe that Christ would not come, or for people to cease talking about His coming, or to cease looking for His coming. So it is about the beast. Because some have been mistaken in what person is to be the beast we are not therefore justified in ceasing to expect such a person to come? I venture to say that Mr. Kempin has already picked out one, or a system which he thinks is the beast, and he made just as bad a blunder as others, if not worse. I know he did when he said the dragon was not the Devil but pagan Rome. We shall have that later.
If Mr. Kempin
had wanted to do so, and had taken the pains to have investigated he
could at least have found two future judgments. Listen to this. "Neither
doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment (Gr.
Krisis) unto the Son;—He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that
sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh NOT into judgment," John 5:22-24.
(R. V.) In both places the word for judgment is the Greek word "Krisis."
Here is a judgment to which the believer does not go. In writing to the
church at Corinth Paul said, "We must all appear before the judgment
seat (Gr. Bema) of Christ," II Cor. 5:10. Here we have two different
judgments. One is the "Krisis" judgment and Jesus said the believer
does not come into that judgment. The other is the "Bema" judgment and
the believers do go to that one. There is absolutely no excuse for a
man who sets himself up as a teacher, and who attempts to set others
right, of being ignorant on this point. Just a little work with a
"Young's Concordance" would have set him right. Mr. Kempin should read
and heed the words of James, "My brethren, be not many masters
(teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation,"
Mr. Kempin objects to us having more than one phase of our Lord's second coming, or two separate manifestations at His second advent. I wonder if he knows there were two separate manifestations of our Lord at His first advent. During His personal ministry He manifested Himself to all the people. After His resurrection He manifested Himself openly, not to all the people, but to chosen witnesses, Acts 10:40-41. At His second advent there will also be two separate manifestations, but in the reverse order. First, He will only appear to those who wait for Him. "Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation," Heb. 9:28. I challenge anyone to find in this verse of Scripture anyone but Jesus and those that look for Him, and to whom He will bring salvation, or the redemption of the body. This is a different manifestation to the one John speaks about when every eye shall see Him, Rev. 1:7. In I Thess. 4:13-17 our Lord only descends into the air, and the saints are caught up in the air to meet Him. But Zechariah tells us He is coming back to this earth and that His foot shall stand on the Mount of Olives.
"Behold THE DAY OF THE LORD cometh, and I will gather ALL nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand IN THAT DAY upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And the Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee. And it shall be in THAT DAY (the Day of the Lord), that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: IN SUMMER AND IN WINTER shall it be. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth in that day (the Day of the Lord) shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of JERUSALEM (earthly Jerusalem): and men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but JERUSALEM shall be safely inhabited," Zech. 14:1-11.
Now, let us outline these verses as follows:
1. The prophet tells us the "DAY OF THE LORD COMETH," verse 1.
2. "All nations" (not part of them) "shall be gathered together against Jerusalem to battle," verse 2.
3. Part of the city will be cut off and part of it will not be, verses 2, 3.
4. In the midst of the destruction of Jerusalem the Lord will come to fight against the nations that are destroying Jerusalem, verse 3.
At that time His (Jesus') feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives
which is east of Jerusalem, verse 4
6. At that time the Mount of Olives will split asunder: Half of it will go to the north, and half of it will go to the south, verse 4.
7. This will make a valley running east and west, the natural consequence of half the mountain goes north and the other half south, verse 4.
8. At this time the saints of the Lord will come with Him, verse 5.
9. A stream of living water (one ever running) will, go out from Jerusalem toward the two seas: The Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. Jerusalem is between these two seas, verse 8. See a map.
10. There will be both summer and winter in that day, that is, the day of the Lord, verse 8. This shows that the expression, "Day of the Lord," stands for a long period of time, and not just for twenty-four hours. Read verse 8, and see both summer and winter in that day.
11. The Lord shall be King over all the earth in that day, that is, the day of the Lord. A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, II Peter 3:8. The statement about summer and winter in that day shows that it is not a day of twenty-four hours; the "day of the Lord" will be one thousand years in length, Rev. 20:6.
Great geographical changes will take place in the country around
Jerusalem, verse 10.
13. Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited, and there shall be no more utter destruction, such as happened when Titus destroyed Jerusalem in A. D. 70, verse 11.
14. At this time our Lord comes all the way to the earth and shall stand on mount Olives, verse 4.
15. This is a different manifestation from that in I Thess. 4:13-17, and Heb. 9:28.
16. So I have proven two different manifestations of Christ at His second advent, even as there were two at His first advent.
This answers Mr. Kempin's quibbles about two resurrections and the judgments, and shows that there will be two different manifestations of Christ at His second advent. It shows, too, that He is going to reign in Jerusalem which is on this earth, and which is situated between two seas. Anyone who knows about the location of Jerusalem knows that it is between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. That locates it in earthly Jerusalem. We are told that the Lord shall be King over all the earth in that day, the "day of the Lord" or the day of one thousand years.
SIXTH OBJECTION: IT PERPETUATES THE OLD COVENANT WHICH WAS ABROGATED.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says, "Teachers of the thousand-year-reign theory refer to the Jews as the covenant people of God. One would suppose that they are still bound to the Lord by the covenant which was given them at Sinai. Such teachers fail to see that the Hebrews broke that covenant. Since they broke it, the conditions stipulated within that covenant were rendered void." After this Mr. Kempin goes on to give Col. 2:14 and Heb. 10:7-10 to show that the law has been abolished.
Here is a gross
misrepresentation of the Pre-millennial position. But here is usually
where the millennial critics start. I have had a few debates and a
number of private discussions on this question and these critics start
out to show that the law covenant has been abolished. Pre-millennialists
believe that as well as their opponents, but no Pre-millennialist argues
that Israel is to be restored to their land under the covenant made at
Sinai, which was the law covenant, but under the covenant which God made
with Abraham 430 years before the law covenant was made at Sinai. If
these fellows are really fair and open for the truth, then why do they
not find out really what the Pre-millennialists teach and quit
misrepresenting them and fighting a straw man? Anything and everything
they might say about the law covenant and its abolishment is beside the
point. It is under the Abrahamic covenant that, we teach, and the Bible
teaches, that Israel is to be re-established in the land of promise. Mr.
Kempin is grossly ignorant of our position here, or else he is
deliberately trying to misrepresent our position and prejudice the minds
of people. We shall now examine the Abrahamic covenant and its promises.
establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in
their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee,
and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed
after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of
Canaan, for an everlasting possession," Gen. 17:7-8. This covenant
included all the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. "In the
same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have
I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the
river Euphrates." Gen. 15:18. I challenge anyone to show where Israel
has ever yet possessed all the land from the river of Egypt unto the
Euphrates River. A good course in Bible geography, the settlement of the
tribes under Joshua, and the great scope of country from the river of
Egypt to the Euphrates river, would be a good thing for a lot of these
millennial critics who neither understand what they say, nor whereof
they affirm, Now, let us read what Paul had to say about the law
covenant and the Abrahamic covenant:
"Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” Gal. 3:15-18.
1. The inheritance God promised to Abraham and his seed, which was the inheritance of Canaan land for an everlasting possession (Gen. 17:7-8), was not through the law, but God gave it to Abraham by promise, verse 18.
2. If the inheritance was of the law, it would not be by promise, verse 18.
3. The Abrahamic covenant was given 430 years before the law was given, and was thus another covenant altogether, verse 17.
4. When a covenant is confirmed it CANNOT be disannulled, nor added to, verse 15.
5. God confirmed the covenant He made with Abraham 430 years before the law was given, verse 17.
6. This covenant was confirmed in Christ, not with Moses nor Joshua, verse 17. Concerning the law covenant, Moses said to Israel, “God made not this covenant with our fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.” Deut. 5:3, 4. Moses and Joshua will inherit it through Christ.
7. The promise was not made to seeds, as of many, that is, the many who entered Canaan under the law covenant, verse 16.
8. The promise was made to one seed, which is Christ, verse 16. So Israel must come to faith in Christ before they can come under the Abrahamic covenant, and inherit the promise. This they will do in time.
9. The law did not disannul the Abrahamic covenant, nor make the promise that God gave to Abraham of none effect, verse 17.
10. A covenant that has been confirmed CANNOT be disannulled, verse 15.
11. The Abrahamic covenant was confirmed, so it CANNOT be disannulled, and it still stands today, verses 16, 17.
12. So whatever may or may not be said about the law covenant can in no wise affect the inheritance of Canaan land by Abraham and such of his posterity who believe in Christ.
Now, let Mr. Kempin and millennial critics apply themselves to the real issue and quit beating at a straw man. Let them prove that the Abrahamic covenant has been disannulled. That is the thing they must do to overthrow the position of the Premillennialists on the restoration of Israel to the land of promise. When they prove that the Abrahamic covenant has been abrogated then they have proven Paul to have been wrong. It is easy to prove that the law has been abrogated, but that is beside the point. We do not have Israel restored under the law covenant.
SEVENTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIAL DOCTRINE HOLDS OUT FALSE HOPES TO BOTH JEWS AND GENTILES.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says, “In this day when the hopes of people are being dashed to pieces, it is a tragedy to deal with fainting hearts with anything but the truth.” Amen, and amen, I say. But what are those hopes which are being dashed to pieces? They are the false hopes that social reformers, and men like Mr. Kempin are holding out to the people, that the world can have peace and safety, and an established order of things without Christ coming back to the earth. It is not Pre-millennialists who are holding out these false hopes that are being dashed to pieces. Pre-millennialists hold out to them the return of Christ as the only true hope. Will Mr. Kempin say Christ is not coming back?
Mr. Kempin says, “Millennial teachers are doing the Jews the greatest kind of injustice by raising their hopes through their teachings that they shall once more be the center of a universal empire—that when Christ comes again they will be the nation upon which Christ will build His millennial kingdom. The poor Jews have suffered enough—why hold out such a bubble to them? It will only burst before their very eyes to plunge them into deeper misery.” P. 16.
This statement shows Mr. Kempin’s gross ignorance of the Word of God. We shall see that what we teach about the restoration of Israel is not a bubble, or a false hope, but the very teaching of the Word of God. I could take up dozens of pages with Scriptures that show plainly that Israel shall yet be put back in her land, and they shall NO MORE be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:14-15. Let us examine these verses closely.
1. A future restoration of Israel to their own land is here promised by the Lord.
2. After this restoration, Israel is to be NO MORE pulled up out of their land.
3. Since Israel was pulled up after the return of a few thousand from the Babylonian captivity, then this prophecy does not apply to that return, but to a future return, after which they shall no more be pulled up out of their land.
4. Israel is now out of her land. Therefore this promise of God to them must be fulfilled in the future.
5. To make this prophecy apply to the return of a few thousand under Ezra and Zerubbabel, is to put a lie in the mouth of the Lord and Amos, because they said after this restoration Israel should NO MORE be pulled up out of their land.
“Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen (Judah and Israel), he hath even cast them off? Thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them,” Jer. 33:24. Here is Mr. Kempin’s picture, and the picture of all who deny the restoration of Israel. They are telling us that we are holding out false hopes to the Jews, and that they shall be no more a nation, and that these promises are empty bubbles. God says, in so doing, they have despised His people. It is a strange thing to me that a man does not recognize his own picture when he sees it. Mr. Kempin is teaching that Israel shall no more be a nation. And God says he, and such as say this, have despised His people.
Now, let us see
what the answer of God to this denial of Israel's hope is. "Thus saith
the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not
appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then will I cast away the
seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his
seed to be rulers over the SEED OF ABRAHAM (Abrahamic covenant is in
this prophecy), Isaac, and Jacob: for I WILL CAUSE their captivity to
return, and will have mercy on them," Jer. 33:25-26.
This is the
answer of God to the people who say Israel shall no more be a nation.
God says that if He has not made a covenant with day and night, and if
He has not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then He would
cast away the seed of Jacob, that they should no more have one of the
seed of David to reign over them. No one can find a place from the
Babylonian captivity until the present day where any of the seed of
David have ever ruled over the seed of Abraham. But in due time Christ
will do that for God says, "FOR I will cause their captivity to return."
Then to deny the restoration of Israel and that they shall ever be a
nation again is equivalent to saying that God has not arranged the day
and night and that He did not fix the ordinances of earth and heaven.
In short, it is the equivalent of taking infidel ground and denying the
works and the creative power of God. That is where Mr. Kempin and his
Non-millennial brethren stand. I have said before, and I say again, that
they are playing in the hands of modernists and infidels.
of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince,
and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod,
and without teraphim: afterwards shall the children of Israel return,
and seek the Lord their God," Hos. 3:4-5. Here we have the return and
the repentance of Israel.
"And they shall
build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and
they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of MANY generations.
And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the
aliens shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But ye shall be
named the priests of the Lord: men shall call you ministers of our God;
ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory ye shall
boast yourselves. For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion
they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in THEIR LAND they shall
possess double: everlasting joy shall be unto them," Isa. 61:4-7. What
do we find here
1. Israel shall return and build again the desolations of MANY generations.
2. Some Jews returned from Babylon under Ezra and Zerubbabel just 70 years after the captivity. Some of the fathers who had seen the temple that Nebuchadnezzar built, also saw the foundation laid for the new temple, Ezra 3:12. The many generations spoken of by Isaiah had not then passed, so the prophecy of Isaiah is yet to come, for it is after MANY generations.
3. Many generations have passed since the destruction by Titus in A. D. 70.
4. After this restoration Israel is to eat of the riches of the Gentiles and sons of the aliens shall be their plowmen and vinedressers. This shows that Israel will then be above the Gentile nations. So the Pre-millennialists are right and Mr. Kempin is wrong as usual. He just simply does not believe God's Word. Because he does not believe it, he has to twist it to suit his own fancy, and make God say something He does not say, and deny what God does say. By his tradition he makes the Word of God of none effect.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says. "Jesus came to build a universal brotherhood." This is a falsehood of the first water. Jesus Himself said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother,—and a man's foes shall be they of his own household," Matt. 10:34-36. This certainly does not look like Jesus came to establish a universal brotherhood. A universal brotherhood implies a universal Fatherhood. That is one of the Devil's lies. God is not the Father of the unbeliever, neither are we brothers of unbelievers. To have a universal brotherhood we would have to have universal salvation, or God the Father of unbelievers. This smacks of the Post-millennial idea of taking the world for Christ. This is the idea behind the building of a universal government and a universal, or Catholic Church.
In this connection I wish to quote from two articles that recently came out in the papers. One is about a speech that Bishop Oxnam, the head of the Federal Council of Churches, made in Philadelphia. The other is about a movement in Cleveland, Ohio.
OXNAM SEES WOMEN A KEY TO CHURCH
"When the women of the churches want the union of the churches, the union of the churches will come," Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam of New York told 1,000 women here at the 24th annual luncheon of the department of women's work, Philadelphia Council of Churches. He called for the union of all Protestant denominations into one church of Christ, which would then unite with the Eastern Orthodox (Greek Catholic) and afterwards help create one Holy Catholic Church, to which all Christians may belong."
Bishop Oxnam is the man who said, The God of the Old Testament was a dirty bully. He is the head of the Federal Council of Churches which is endeavoring to break down doctrinal principles and unite all professing believers into a religious oligarchy such as this world has never had. He is seeking to lead the world back into the folds of Rome and have one Catholic (Universal) church.
Now, get this from him: "Personally, I would be proud to kneel at any altar and have the hands of Harry Emerson Fosdick (A rank modernist, who claims to be a Baptist), placed upon my head symbolizing the passing of the freedom and the independence of the Baptist tradition to the new church."
So Mr. Oxnam, who thinks the God of the Old Testament is a bully, is calling upon Baptists to surrender their freedom and independence and line up with his ungodly Universal church affair. Here is the ultimate outcome of Mr. Kempin's universal brotherhood idea. This universal brotherhood idea and universal church idea will result in a vast religious combination called the great whore in the Book of Revelation, and it will wind up in the worship of the beast. "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the beast), whose names are not written in the book of life," Rev. 13:8. "Come hither and I will show thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters," Rev. 17:1. "The waters which thou sawest where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues," Rev. 17:15. (Or in other words a universal affair). Here will be the ultimate outcome of Mr. Oxnam's religious federation plan. It will end in beast worship, and finally in judgment. Mr. Kempin's universal brotherhood idea is lending aid and encouragement to these Antichrist movements. I tell you brother, these Non-millennialists and Postmillennialists are not your friends. You had better get right and line up with the Pre-millennialists who are warning about these ungodly movements and the coming apostasy.
WORLD UNION PLAN BOOMED IN CLEVELAND
"A campaign for the union of the world under one government is booming in this city with an energy almost atomic. Two hundred thousand citizens have signed pledges to help bring about this union. Many say that half a million will eventually sign—a large majority of the adult population. The movement called the Workers for World Security, is sponsored by an amazing variety of most prominent citizens — (Blind fools. G. E. J.) —Republicans and Democrats, Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant church leaders, heads of CIO, AFL, and the railroad brotherhoods, educators, businessmen and industrialists, men and women in all of Cleveland's social strata."
Here is some more of Mr. Kempin's universal brotherhood idea. Where will it end? Will it end in a universal government? It will, and God has foretold us that it will be the kingdom of the beast in the last days of this age. Take notice to this. "The dragon (Devil) gave him (the beast) his power, and his seat, and great authority," Rev. 13:2. "And power was given him (the beast) over all kindreds, and tongues and nations," Rev. 13:7. Here is the one world-wide government these poor, blind, deluded folk are planning and seeking. The beast will be the ruler over it. "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?" Jer. 8:9. They have listened to the wisdom and prattle of the world's wise men, Non-millennialists and Post-millennialists. They have rejected the warnings of the Pre-millennialist and the prophecies of God's Word which foretells these things. They go on prating about their plans and federations and such ungodly ideas of a universal brotherhood, and they are being caught in the Devil's trap like flies in fly paper. All who fight what Pre-millennialists preach are just helping to keep these poor dupes in the dark as to what is coming. They need to hear the warning, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities," Rev. 18:4-5.
This article goes on to say, "They want a world government of some kind because they are convinced that it is the only way to avoid an atomic war." Verily the Scripture is right that tells us that the wisdom of this world comes to nought, 1 Cor. 2:6. It is the wisdom of the world that has led men into their present predicament. Now, it proposes to have them jump out of the frying pan into the fire. It has brought them to the verge of physical destruction, and, to escape the consequences, it is now going to lead them into the eternal damnation of their souls. "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image," Rev. 14:9-11. So, in seeking to escape from the consequences of the folly of following the wisdom of this world, which wisdom has brought them to the verge of physical destruction, they are now going to follow the wisdom of this world into the folds of the beast and bring upon themselves eternal damnation and torment, without any hope of repentance. They had better fear God, rather than the atomic bomb. "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and that stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not to the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord:—Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit," Isa. 31:1-3. "For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear," Isa. 8:11-13. Pre-millennialists are not talking of a universal brotherhood, nor or they advocating confederacies, nor church unions, universal churches, or a world government. They know these things are coming, and that they are the work of the Devil, and leading onto the coming of the Antichrist, and they propose to play hands off and warn the people about what they are getting into. They are not going into any such ungodly universal movements for fear of the atomic bomb. We have our faith fixed in our God and His Word, and we know He will come and He will deliver. We look not to men, or the princes of men, in whom there is no help. Our God tells us to "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help," Psalm 146:3. Our trust is in our Lord, His Word and the hope of His coming. We have no confidence in world movements, nor of the self-made religious movements of man. We know where they are headed, and what will be the outcome. Pre-millennialists have been denounced as pessimists, and prophets of gloom, because they dared to oppose the wisdom of men and big self-made religious programs, and tell the people of the terrible days that would come on this world in the end. Judging from that Cleveland movement to bring about a world government to escape the destruction that is threatening from the atomic bomb, it seems like someone else besides the Pre-Millennialists are seeing the handwriting on the wall. But their wise men, like the wise men of Belshazzer, do not know what it is all about, or what it means. But Pre-millennialists are not alarmed. Christ has told us that the time would come when men's hearts would fail them for fear of what is coming to pass on the earth, Luke 21:26. But we are not alarmed, for our Lord told us that when we see these things beginning to come to pass, "Then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh," Luke 21:28. We are not looking to universal brotherhoods, a universal church, or a universal government, nor to this world's wise men, its religious, or political leaders. We are looking up. We are lifting up our heads. We are not dismayed. Things, in this old world, are working out as our Lord has told us and we have expected and preached. Our faith in His Word is being justified. Our hopes are being made stronger. Our courage is being renewed. We are looking and waiting for the call of our Lord and Saviour; His promise is true and we are not doubting. Amid all the fear, turmoil and shattered hope of this world we can hear the rustle of the wings of the Sun of Righteousness. Amid the inky darkness and gloom of this age and the despair of men we have a more sure word of prophecy that shines out as a day star pointing us to the coming of better things, when our Lord and Saviour shall come.
"It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight thro' darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fulness of glory,
To receive from the world His own.
"Oh joy! Oh, delight! should we go without dying,
No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying,
Caught up thro' the clouds with our Lord into glory,
When Jesus receives His own."
Brother, does your heart thrill at the thought? Do you feel like lifting your voice and shouting His praises? Get on the doctrine that will set your soul afire with glorious hope and expectancy. The lines are being drawn. Which side do you want to be found on when Jesus comes? Be sure you are not found in the company about whom Jesus spoke in His parable, who said, "We will not have this man to reign over us." This nobleman is coming back to this earth to reign. "Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little," Psalm 2:10-12.
In closing my remarks on Mr. Kempin's seventh objection I want to notice one other thing he said. "They may reign with Christ right now over sin, the flesh and the Devil." p. 16. I would remind Mr. Kempin that wherever the apostles speak about our reigning with Christ they put it in the future. "If we suffer, we shall (future) also reign with him," II Tim. 2:12. I say to Mr. Kempin, in the words of Paul, who was rebuking the Corinthians, "Have you ascended your thrones without us to join you? Yes, could wish that you had ascended your thrones, that we too might join you on them," 1 Cor. 4:8. Williams' translation. In Rev. 2:26-27, the overcomer is promised that he shall (future) rule the nations with a rod of iron. Mr. Kempin and Non-millennialists put the reigning now. God's Word puts it in the future. Now is the time of suffering. Paul did not consider that he was reigning when he was suffering. He did not consider himself to be reigning then. But he could wish that the Corinthians were reigning, that he and Apollos might also reign with them. Paul considered the reign to be future. So do Pre-millennialists.
EIGHTH OBJECTION: IT DISCOURAGES PRESENT VICTORY IN SALVATION WORK.
Under this objection, which he calls a reason, Mr. Kempin says, "This false doctrine is based upon the worst kind of pessimism. It discourages revival work by saying it is impossible to have real Holy Ghost revivals because we are drawing toward the close of this age." p. 18.
I flatly deny this charge. Practically all the great revivalists have been Pre-millennialists, Spurgeon, Moody, Ham, Broughten, Sunday, Fuller, Springer, and a number of other men famous for their evangelistic work were, or are all Pre-millennialists. Some of these men are dead, but they were Pre-millennialists.
Now, I am going to turn one of Mr. Kempin's own Non-millennialists against him. I also received a pamphlet from the so-called Bible Truth Depot, which is a speech made by Albertus Pieters before the Ministerial Association of the Christian Reformed Church at Grand Rapids, Mich., June 1st, 1938. In this speech, Mr. Pieters was denouncing the Scofield Bible. Now, I do not agree with everything in the Scofield Bible, and this is not a defense of that work particularly. But anyone who has studied that Bible knows that Dr. Scofield was a strong Pre-millennialist, and all who like his edition of the Bible are Pre-millennialists. Though Mr. Pieters was denouncing this Bible and opposing the thousand years reign, and Scofield's position on that, yet he certainly paid a high compliment to those who use the Scofield Bible. Here is what he said about them—
"All this constitutes a situation to which we as pastors and Bible teachers need to pay attention, and to do so we must be thoroughly acquainted with the Scofield Bible. The importance of the problem is accentuated by the fact that those who use this work (Scofield's Pre-millennial work) are, in other respects, among the best Christians in our churches, those with the deepest faith in the Holy Scriptures and with the most sincere devotion to the Lord. They need to be very carefully and sympathetically dealt with. These good people do not lack faith and zeal, but they sadly lack knowledge." (In his opinion they lack knowledge.)
Here is a Non-millennialist who says the people who study Scofield's Bible (and they are Pre-millennialists) are among the best Christians in the churches; people with the deepest faith in the Scriptures; people with the most sincere devotion to their Lord, and not lacking in faith and zeal. Yet, Mr. Kempin says, such people discourage revival work. Here is a strange thing. People who are among the best Christians, with the deepest faith in the Scriptures; with the most sincere devotion to their Lord, full of faith and zeal, yet discouraging revival work. I have always thought that such things produced revivals. This is the first time I ever knew that cold, insincere, church members, with little or no faith, and lacking in zeal were the ones who bring about the revivals. Mr. Pieters and Mr. Kempin had better get together and make their arguments harmonize before they set out to clean up the Pre-millennialists. They gore each other to death. Like the enemies of Israel who were stampeded by Gideon's three hundred, "Every man's sword was against his fellow." Both books were put out by the same company. These men do not agree with each other. After paying such a high compliment to those who use the Scofield Bible, Mr. Pieters said, it was one of the most dangerous books on the market. Yet he said it produced the best Christians, with the strongest faith in the Scriptures, and with the most sincere devotion to their Lord and with plenty of faith and zeal. Jesus said an evil tree could not bring forth good fruit. But, according to Mr. Pieters, a millennial hater, we have one of the most dangerous books on the market producing the best fruit in their churches, he being witness against himself. These statements will not harmonize with each other.
Under his eighth reason or objection,
Mr. Kempin says, "This doctrine rests upon the assumption that the world
is getting worse and worse and that righteousness is getting weaker and
weaker—that when Jesus comes He will find very few who are saved." p. 18
Well, if the millennial doctrine rests upon the idea that the world is getting worse and worse than it certainly rests upon Bible truth, not an assumption as he calls it. Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man," Luke 17:26. How was it in Noah's day? "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," Gen. 6:5. "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence," Gen. 6:11. Is it not filled with violence today? With the atomic bomb and other deadly weapons of destruction, is it not filled with violence? Are not men wicked today as they were in Noah's time? Jesus said, of the time of the end, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold," Matt. 24:12. Paul said in the last times men would be lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God: having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof," II Tim. 3:1-5. He also said, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," II Tim. 3:13. In speaking about His second coming, Jesus asked, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8. These and many other Scriptures abundantly prove that the world is waxing worse and worse. Mr. Kempin says our doctrine rests upon this idea, which he calls an assumption. Then it certainly stands on a Scriptural foundation, he being the witness.
Just what part of the Bible does Mr. Kempin believe anyway? Just where is his Scripture to prove the world will not grow worse? It is not in the Bible. It is his doctrine that is built upon assumption. In the face of all these Scriptures which teach that the world will grow worse and worse he denies it. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isa. 5:20. Here is Mr. Kempin's picture. The Bible teaches that the world will get worse and worse and that iniquity and violence will abound. And we have it today. Mr. Kempin calls this evil good, and he calls those who preach exactly what the Bible teaches evil men and heretics. Hence, he puts light for darkness and darkness for light.
NINTH OBJECTION: CHILIASM (MILLENNIALISM) TURNS THE STREAM OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT BACKWARDS.
He says, Pre-millennial doctrine rests upon a misconception of Isa. 11:11. He says the 11th chapter of Isaiah is a glowing description of the gospel dispensation. He says, "A great transformation was to be wrought in the lives of people who are symbolized by the wolf, a lamb, leopard, kid, cow, bear, lion, and ox. Through the righteousness of Christ, the fierce, the merciless, the vain, the devourer would be so changed that only love would prompt their actions, and love would help otherwise incompatible people to dwell together in holy, tranquil concord. This does not apply to some future age in which the animals shall have their nature changed;—the animals as such will always be just what God made them to be."
Here Mr. Kempin has the wolf, the lamb, the kid, the leopard, cow, bear, lion and ox representing men. And he has the lamb transformed as well as the wolf. If the lamb is used to represent men, it can only represent meek, peaceful, harmless men. But Mr. Kempin has the lamb as well as the wolf transformed. So the gospel is to make good men out of evil men, and evil men out of good men. The good as well as the evil are to be transformed. The gospel is to make children of the Devil out of the children of God, and children of God out of the children of the Devil. This is a new version of the gospel, transforming and changing the good as well as the evil.
Mr. Kempin said, "The animals as such will always be just what God made them to be." Doesn't he know one single thing about the Bible? Does he think God made the ferocious beasts as they are now? He did not. He made them without this fierce disposition. They did not eat flesh when God first made them, but the herbs, "To every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so," Gen. 1:30. God did not make the animals to eat flesh. This came about as the result of the fall and the curse upon Adam's dominion. Now, since Jesus was manifested to destroy the work of the Devil, then He must come and reverse this work of the Devil, and cause fierce animals to eat grass again as they did before the Devil brought about the fall. "The Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the work of the devil," 1 John 3:8. It was the work of the Devil to bring the curse and cause the wolf, the lion and leopard to eat the flesh of other animals. It is part of the work of Christ to reverse this, and the lion will once again eat straw like the ox. How far Mr. Kempin missed this! It looks like he could get something right.
Mr. Kempin says the second thing to remember about Isa. 11:11 is that the burden of the prophet in particular concerns the welfare and salvation of the Gentiles. This can be seen from the fact that the prophetic declaration of the passage takes in even the isles of the sea. Let us read the passage, "And in that day there shall be a root out of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass IN THAT DAY, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea," verses 10, 11. The reference to the islands of the sea has to do with the re-gathering of Israel from these places. Please notice the reference to the ensign to which the Gentiles shall seek. Does Mr. Kempin know what an ensign is? It is a national flag. Here is a reference to the national flag of Israel in that day. The Gentiles will come to Jerusalem in that time seeking the Lord and the blessings of His kingdom. "Many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in JERUSALEM, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that the Lord is with you," Zech. 8:22, 23. Here we have a prophecy of the Gentile nations coming up to Jerusalem to seek Him and worship Him in the millennial age.
Under this connection Mr. Kempin makes a feeble attempt to apply Acts 15:16, 17 to the gospel age. He certainly missed that passage. We shall read it. "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will RETURN (second coming), and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down: and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called," Acts 15:14-17. We shall outline this passage.
1. God is to take out of the Gentiles a people for His name.
2. This work commenced with the conversion of Cornelius, about whom Peter had just spoken, verses 7-9.
3. After the work of taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name the Lord will return. "After this I will RETURN." After what? After the work of taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name the Lord will return.
4. When He returns He will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down.
5. The Heavenly Father's throne where Christ now sits has never been fallen nor has it ever been overthrown, nor in ruins.
6. But David's throne, which was promised to Christ, is a throne that has been fallen and in ruins. It is now in ruins. It needs to be built again. The throne of God, the Father in heaven, has never needed to be built again.
7. After Christ has returned and built again the tabernacle of David then the Gentiles, upon whom the Lord's name is called (already saved), will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord and worship Him. That is shown in Zech. 8:22, 23, which was quoted above.
8. Now I shall show that neither the tabernacle of David, nor anything else which is to be restored, has yet been restored, or will be until Christ returns.
9. "And he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive UNTIL the times of the restitution of ALL things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets," Acts 3:20, 21. Notice this three letter word ALL. It stares these Non-millennialists in the face. Peter, in preaching to the Jews after our Lord's resurrection and ascension, called upon them to repent, and he promised them that God would send back this Jesus Christ (the man they had crucified) whom the heavens must receive UNTIL (See this word UNTIL) the times of the restitution of ALL things, (Not part of the things, or the rest of the things, but ALL things) which the prophets had foretold. This puts the restoration of the throne, the house of Israel, and ALL things God promised to restore off, UNTIL Jesus comes back.
TENTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIAL MUTILATES THE WORD OF GOD.
On the other hand it is Mr. Kempin who mutilates the Word of God. With him the Bible never says what it means and never means what it says. It tells us that the world will grow worse and worse and wind up as in the days of Noah, but it does not mean that, but that it will get better and better and finally a time of peace will come. Mt. Olives does not mean Mt. Olives, and the earth does not mean the earth, but heaven. David does not mean David but God. David's throne, which was promised to Christ, does not mean David's throne, but the throne of the Heavenly Father of Christ. It was the Heavenly Father's throne which was fallen and which Jesus built again. Canaan does not mean Canaan. Talk about mutilating the Word of God. Mr. Kempin, "Thou art the man." He has a saw log in his eye and is trying to pick the mote out of our eyes. The Bible plainly tells us that the dragon is the Devil. But we shall find that Mr. Kempin tells us that this is not so, but it is pagan Rome. He denies the Word of God and misapplies it at every turn. Talk about the millennialists mutilating the Word of God, Mr. Kempin is champion in that line. He is like the man who had limburger cheese in his mustache and smelled himself and thought the whole town was rotten. Mr. Kempin, examine your own mustache and you will find where the fault lies.
Mr. Kempin mentions such chapters as Isaiah 11; 35; 60; 65; Ezek. 37-40; Dan. 2:7, and 9 and applies them to the first advent of our Lord. If space permitted it could be shown that all of these apply to our Lord's second coming. Israel and Judah, represented by the two sticks in Ezek. 37 are to be made one nation again and dwell in the land that God gave to His servant Jacob, verses 21-25. That land is the land Jacob was sleeping on when he dreamed about the angel ladder. God told him that He would give to him and his seed the land on which he was lying, Gen. 28:13. Ezekiel tells us of both Israel and Judah being made to dwell in that land for ever. If I owned a vast tract of land in Conway County, Arkansas, and Mr. Kempin was standing on a certain forty acres of that land and I should tell him that I would give him the forty on which he was standing he would not misunderstand. He would not think I was promising him some land in Ohio, or Texas, or California, or a forty acre farm on Mars, or a turnip patch in the moon. He would take me for just what I said and expect me to give him the exact forty on which he was standing. God said to Jacob, "The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed," Gen. 28:13. God meant that very land on which Jacob was then sleeping, Canaan land. God said through Ezekiel, "And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, WHEREIN your fathers have dwelt: and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever," Ezek. 37:25. Now, just why does God not mean what He says? This was not fulfilled when Christ was here the first time. Mr. Kempin is just as bad wrong on all the other passages.
ELEVENTH OBJECTION: THE DOCTRINE OF THE MILLENNIUM
MISAPPLIES THE PERIOD OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Under this heading, Mr. Kempin says, "The finger of Christian scholarship through the age has pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish state at the fulfillment of the passages in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. History points to A. D. 70 for the great tribulation, which millennial teachers refuse to accept, pointing all the while to the future for such a tribulation. A little independent research in some library will convince any reasonable, unbiased heart of the truth of this position. Let the reader consult such authors as Josephus, Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry, and Philip Mauro for a safe and sane interpretation of the portions of the Scripture cited.
"If the reader will turn in his Bible to the following, passages he will find what Jesus said about the great tribulation: Matt. 24:21-22; Mark 13:19-20; and Luke 21:20-24. Also Daniel's picture of this awful event in Dan. 12:1." End of quotation.
Mr. Kempin failed to give us all in Matthew that Jesus said about the great tribulation. He stopped at the 22nd verse. Jesus goes on to the 31st verse talking about the great tribulation. But to bring in those verses would have ruined Mr. Kempin's proposition. Let me tell Mr. Kempin and all his scholars that we have a higher authority than all his scholars, which he is pleased to call the finger of Christian scholarship. Our authority is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He said He would return to earth IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation of those days. Let us read it all:
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this same time, no, nor never shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. (Talking about His second coming) For there shall arise false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible they should deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not, For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Can't we see that Jesus is discussing His second coming, not the destruction of the temple in A. D. 70)? For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Read on.) IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory," Matt. 24:22-31. What did Jesus tell us would happen IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation of those days? Here is what He said would happen:
1. The sun would be darkened and the moon would not give her light.
2. The stars would fall from heaven.
3. The powers of heaven would be shaken.
4. All the tribes of the earth would mourn.
5. The sign of the Son of man would appear in heaven.
6. The tribes of the earth would see Jesus coming in the clouds, with power and great glory.
This is in keeping with Rev. 1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him."
I ask the question did all this happen immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70? Were the powers of heaven shaken? Did the tribes of earth see Jesus coming back immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem? Did all the tribes of earth mourn because of Him in A. D. 70? So Jesus Christ, the greatest of all authorities, said He would return immediately after the tribulation of those days. Mr. Kempin rejected what Jesus said about it and took what some men, whom he is pleased to call the finger of Christian scholarship, have said. "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater," 1 John 5:9. It does not take a scholar to know that Jesus said He would return immediately after the tribulation. The trouble with all heresy is that it bases its ideas on the wisdom of men, rather than on the statements of God. The Devil has used the weapon of scholarship ever since the temptation of Eve to browbeat people into accepting his lies and false teaching. He told Eve the tree was good to make one WISE. The evolutionists use the same club. They prate that all scholarship agrees in the theory of evolution. Here is Mr. Kempin using the same weapon of the Devil and is too ignorant to know it. The whole thing smacks of Roman Catholicism, which teaches that the common people do not know enough to interpret the Bible for themselves, and that they must accept the handed down interpretations of the educated priests. So Mr. Kempin demands that we give up reading the Bible for ourselves, and accept what a few scholars have said, instead of reading for ourselves and taking what Jesus said about it. Jesus said the Father had hidden things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes, Luke 10:21. "How do they say, we are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? lo, certainly in vain he made it; the pen of the scribe is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?" Jer. 8:9. So much for Mr. Kempin's appeal to the finger of Christian scholarship. Many of the so-called Christian scholars are rank modernists. Many of them deny the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and every other great truth. Mr. Kempin's boast is his shame. Jude told us about certain false teachers who would come in the last days, "Having men's persons in admiration because of advantage," Jude 16. Mr. Kempin is one of them. The common country preacher with a knowledge of the Word of God can whip the ground out from under a lot of these so-called big fellows any time. God did not use a giant to bring down the boasting Goliath. He used a little shepherd boy. It is the same way in the teaching of His truth. "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise," I Cor. 1:27.
TWELFTH OBJECTION: IT INVENTS A FANCIFUL RAPTURE.
Under this, Mr. Kempin says, "According to this supposed secret coming of Christ to snatch away His bride (the church), the world will be unaware of the fact that Christ has come—They wax eloquent in describing how saved loved ones will suddenly be snatched away to leave business, school, social and family life paralyzed."
I have already shown that there will be two manifestations of our Lord at His second advent, even as there were two at His first advent. I will now prove that the saved will suddenly be snatched away to leave others behind. Jesus Himself said, "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left," Luke 17:34-36. Here we have some caught away and others left behind. I ask this question: "Will the sleeping man who is left behind know anything about the matter until he awakes and finds the other missing?" Here is another Scripture along this same line: "Thy dead shall live, their bodies will rise, those who dwell in the dust will awake, and will sing for joy; for thy dew is a dew of light. And the earth will bring the Shades to birth. Go my people, enter into your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide your selves for a little while, till the time of wrath go by. For see! the Lord is coming out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the world for their guilt; and the earth will uncover her blood, and will no more conceal her slain," Isa. 26:19-21. (Smith and Goodspeed's Translation)
Here we see the dead in Christ rising from their graves, and the living saints called to go into a place of hiding at the same time. This hiding is to be just for a little while. It is to be until the wrath of God goes by. The Lord is said to be coming out of His place to punish the inhabitants for their guilt. But here is another.
"Because you have kept my message with patient endurance that I gave you, I also will keep you from the time of testing that is about to come upon the whole world, to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon," Rev. 3:10, 11. (Williams' translation.)
A man that has eyes to see surely can see from these verses that the Lord's people of this age are to be caught away from this earth before the great day of testing comes on the earth.
THIRTEENTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIAL DOCTRINE BREAKS THE
CONTINUITY OF DANIEL'S SEVENTY WEEKS
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says, "Every impartial scholar construes and interprets these seventy weeks as seventy consecutive weeks. Millennial teachers, however, in order to make room for the rapture and the supposed tribulation, say the first sixty-nine weeks are consecutive, but the seventieth is detached from the sixty-nine and held off until the millennium is set up. . . . This is like telling a man who sets out on a journey of seventy miles that he will find the first sixty-nine consecutive miles, but after the sixty-ninth mile he will find a sign telling him that the seventieth, or last mile, is two thousand miles away. These seventy weeks are to be interpreted as seventy weeks which take up from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the destruction of the Jewish State." Page 31.
In answering this I will first say that Mr. Kempin does not even know the Pre-millennialists position on this. Before he sets out to refute something he had better learn what he is trying to refute. The Pre-millennialists do not put off the last week to the millennium, but to the tribulation which comes before the millennium. I have already shown that we are right on the place of the tribulation. It will take place just before our Lord comes back to the earth to manifest Himself to all the tribes and peoples of the earth. (This must not be confused with our Lord's descent into the air to manifest Himself to the saints of this age.) Now, Mr. Kempin's illustration, which he thinks is unanswerable, does not fit the idea. There is a difference in time and space. The seventy weeks have to do with time, not, with mileage. The prophecy has to do with Israel and their temple and trouble. Let me give an illustration. I was born in Morrilton, Arkansas, fifty-eight years ago. I have spent fourteen and a half of those years in Morrilton, but those fourteen and a half years have not been consecutive. They have been in three periods. My parents moved away when I was a year and a half old. I returned here when I was forty-one to spend nine more years. Then I moved to Missouri to stay over four years. Then I returned again to spend four more until this date. Now, if I was writing about my life's experience with reference to Morrilton those fourteen and a half years spent here would not run consecutively. There would be places where the time would stop, to be taken up again when I returned to Morrilton.
Mr. Kempin says those 70 weeks, or weeks of years, take us to the destruction of the Jewish state. Daniel divides these weeks into three periods, seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, and one week. After the second period, or the sixty-two weeks Messiah was to be cut off. "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself." This leaves one week of years, or seven years to come after the cutting off of Christ. Christ was crucified in A.D. 33. If the seventy weeks are to be taken consecutively then they would have ended in A.D. 40, or thirty years before Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus. Mr. Kempin will have to do some stretching to get 37 years out of 7 years. Mathematics proves that He is wrong in saying they went to the destruction of Jerusalem, and were consecutive. Seven years is not thirty-seven years.
There can be but one answer. After the crucifixion of Christ the nation of Israel was cut off until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in. "I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in," Rom. 11:25.. Jesus foretold that the kingdom should be taken from them and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. When the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, then the blindness will pass away from Israel, for it is only to last until that time, the saints of today will be caught away and God will go to dealing with Israel again.
Israel is represented as a wife who has been put away by her husband, to be reconciled to him later. "Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy WIDOWHOOD any more. For thy maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name," Isa. 54:4, 5. If a man married a woman and lived with her ten years and was separated from her ten years and then they were reconciled and lived together five more years, they would have had fifteen years of married life together, but those fifteen years would not have been consecutive years. Now, let Mr. Kempin tackle this illustration and I get it from the Scriptural relationship between God and Israel, as set forth by Isaiah and other writers.
FOURTEENTH OBJECTION: IT CONTRADICTS PAUL'S. VERDICT THAT FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
That expression made by Paul was made in connection with his great discourse on the resurrection. Mr. Kempin has all along had us reigning with Christ now, when we are in our natural bodies. On page 34 he says, "If we are going to reign with Christ we ought to do it now." Mr. Kempin's objection cuts off his own head. It shows that we cannot enter into our inheritance of the kingdom and reign until we are in our resurrected glorified bodies. Mr. Kempin's objection flies back and hits him in the face again. It is another boomerang. It proves that we can only enter into our inheritance and reign after we have been resurrected and glorified. That puts it after the second coming of Christ. Mr. Kempin did not see that one.
But here is his difficulty. He says millennial teachers teach that life will go on much the same as now in the millennial age. They will ride trolley cars, sit under fig trees, and raise vineyards. Well, the Bible certainly teaches that they will sit under their fig trees and will raise vineyards. After Micah tells about the nations beating their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, then he goes on to say, "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," Micah 4:3, 4. They shall not be made afraid because wars have ceased.
Mr. Kempin's difficulty lies in the fact that he does not know the difference between the heirs of the kingdom and the subjects of the kingdom. Those who are being saved today are the heirs to the kingdom, but we have not yet entered into our promised inheritance. A child is an heir to his share of his father's estate when he is born, but he may not enter into his inheritance for many years. So we are made heirs by the new birth. But before we can enter into our inheritance of the kingdom and reign we must be resurrected and glorified, because flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the people who will be living their natural lives in the 1000 years reign will not be those who inherit the kingdom. They will be the subjects of the kingdom. Does not Mr. Kempin know the difference in an heir to a throne and the subjects of a king? The people at large are the subjects of the king of England. But they are not heirs of the kingdom, nor will they inherit the kingdom. His heirs are those of his immediate family. Today the Lord is gathering to Himself a ruling class. Those saved today are heirs with Christ. But as long as we are in our natural bodies we cannot inherit the kingdom of God, or enter into our inheritance, because Paul says, "Flesh and blood doth not inherit the kingdom of God." After we are resurrected and have our glorified bodies we will inherit the kingdom of God and reign over the natural people of the millennial age. We are the heirs. They will be the subjects of the kingdom. So Mr. Kempin's proof text proves the Pre-millennial position, not his. He ought to use his head for something beside a hat rack.
FIFTEENTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIAL DOCTRINE IGNORES THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS A PRESENT REALITY.
I have already shown that there are three stages to the kingdom, the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear, Mark 4:26-28. We do recognize the present, or blade stage, but we do not ignore the millennial stage as he does. The kingdom exists today in the person of the King, Christ, and the ruling class He is now calling out. But that over which we are to reign is yet future, for flesh and blood doth not inherit the kingdom of God. We must first be resurrected. This is just more proof that the first resurrection in Rev. 20:5, 6 is the resurrection of the bodies of the saints.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says, "If we are to reign with Christ we ought to do it now." P. 34. This doctrine came from the Roman Catholic Church. On page 4487 of The World Book Encyclopedia I read the following: "Saint Augustine, the great Catholic theologian of the 5th century, was the first to teach the present belief of the Roman Catholic Church, that the church is the kingdom of Christ, and that the millennium began with His first advent."
Here is the source of Mr. Kempin's false doctrine and his opposition to what the Pre-millennialists teach. He is holding on to the false teaching of the harlot. The Bible puts our reign in the future. "If we suffer, we shall (future) also reign with him," II Tim. 2:12. The false doctrine that we are now reigning came through Roman Catholicism. The first one to teach it was Augustine, a Catholic theologian. We shall have more of this anon. A lot of people have more Romanism hanging on to them than they think. Even some Baptists have been infected with the leaven of this scarlet woman.
SIXTEENTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIAL DOCTRINE WITH ITS MANY COMINGS AND MANY JUDGMENTS RENDERS INEFFECTIVE THE ACTUAL SECOND COMING AND THE JUDGMENT DAY.
I have already shown that there is to be two different manifestations of Christ at His second advent. I have also shown two different judgments. I will now show another. "True and righteous are his JUDGMENTS (plural): for he hath judged the great whore," Rev. 19:2. Notice the word judgment is in the plural form. Now, how will the judgment of the whore come? "The ten horns (10 kings, verse 12) which thou sawest on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled," Rev. 17:17.
The Bible teaches two separate manifestations of our Lord at His coming and more than one judgment. So Mr. Kempin's objection is not justified. Does he really know anything about the Bible? If this is all he has learned from his finger of scholarship it has certainly left him in gross ignorance of the Word of God. "Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1 Cor. 1:20.
SEVENTEENTH OBJECTION: MILLENNIAL TEACHERS INVENT ANOTHER PHYSICAL RESURRECTION.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says, "According to such teachers there are two physical resurrections yet future. One resurrection will be for the righteous just before the millennium, and the second resurrection, for the wicked, will be after the millennium. This is exactly what the Bible says. We did not invent it. We just believe the Bible record that puts it that way. We shall presently examine the Scriptures on this point still further.
Mr. Kempin goes on to say, "The New Testament is very plain on this matter. Let the reader read John 5:22-29 and II Cor. 5:10 to see that only one general resurrection is in the future. Advocates of such doctrine fail to see that the first resurrection is spiritual and the second is literal. 'This is where all confusion originates.’"
In John 5:25, we read: "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." This has to do with the sinner being made alive from a death in sin, but it is not called a resurrection. The verse above tells us that the one that hears has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation. Jesus is here talking about our new birth, but He neither here, nor anywhere else calls it a resurrection. The word "resurrection" is always translated from the Greek word "anastasis" and means a standing up again. I have shown that every time the word "resurrection" (Gr. anastasis) is found in the Gospels and Epistles that the body is under consideration. This is the same English and the same Greek word in Rev. 20:5. 6. Then why should it mean something different there? In John 5:28, 29, we read: "Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth ; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Here are two resurrections of the body. One is the resurrection of life; the other is the resurrection of damnation.
Non-millennialists have tried to make this mean that both the saved and the unsaved would be raised in the same sixty minutes. If so, then the hour mentioned in John 5:25, when the dead shall hear His voice and live only covers 60 minutes of time. The hour in John 5:25 has already covered almost two thousand years since our Lord spoke these words. People heard His voice and lived when He was here in person. They heard it at Pentecost and lived. They heard it in the apostles' days that followed that time and lived. They are still hearing it and living. So that hour has already covered thousands of years. Then why cannot the hour of John 5:28, 29 cover a thousand years? Listen to Dr. Williams' translation. "The time is coming when all that are in the graves will listen to His voice, and those who have done good to the resurrection to life, but those who have done evil for the resurrection of evil." I can say that if our Lord tarries long enough then the time is coming when all of us shall die. Who would understand me to mean that we would all die at the same time? No one would. Then why twist the words of Jesus to mean that? When Jesus said the hour or time has come when the dead shall hear the voice of God, and they that hear shall live, no one understands Him to mean that everyone who is regenerated will be regenerated at the same time. My time came when I heard and lived. My neighbor down the street heard and lived. Another across town heard and lived. But we did not hear, and were not saved, the same 60 minutes. Then why insist on giving such an understanding to John 5:28, 29? When Jesus said the hour is come when the dead shall hear His voice and live He did not say how long it would be between the hour Jones believed and Smith believed, and when Johnson believed, and Brown believed. But the hour came to each of them when this happened, but not the same hour. Neither does Jesus tell us here how long it would be between the hour when those would come forth to the resurrection of life, and the hour they would come forth to the resurrection of damnation, but we are told in Revelation about that period of time.
Now, let us read what Jesus said to the Sadducees in Luke 20:35, 36. "They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from (Gr. Ek—out from among) the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels: and are children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Mr. Kempin will have to find another resurrection to this one to get the unsaved out of the grave. Let us sum up what this passage teaches:
1. There is a resurrection from (or from among) the dead.
2. Those who have part in it must be accounted worthy to obtain it.
3. They do not die any more. In other words, "Over such the second death hath no power," Rev. 20:6.
4. They are the children of God.
5. Here is the first resurrection, and it includes none but the children of God, and it is a bodily resurrection.
Jesus said those who obtain this resurrection do not die anymore. John says of those who have part in the first resurrection, "On such the second death hath no power." So Jesus is here talking about the same resurrection that John was in Rev. 20:4-6 which he calls the first resurrection. Jesus says these people are children of God. John says the people who are in the first resurrection are blessed and holy. John says such shall (future) reign with Christ a thousand years. Paul promised a future reign to those who suffer with Christ. "If we suffer, we shall (future) also reign with him," II Tim. 2:12.
The verse which Mr. Kempin referred to in II Cor. 5:10 is addressed to saints only. "We (the saved) must all appear before the (Gr. Bema) judgment seat of Christ." The lost man goes to the "Krisis" judgment, John 5:24.
Mr. Kempin quotes Col. 3:1 which he thinks proves a spiritual resurrection. It is too bad I am going to have to tear down his playhouse again. "If ye then were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above," Col. 3:1 (R. V.). In the first place the Greek word "anastasis" from which our word resurrection comes is not found here. It is found in Rev. 20:5, 6. In the second place Paul is not talking about our regeneration here as Mr. Kempin and others think. Let us read it that way and see what we have. "If then ye be regenerated together with Christ seek those things which are above." Now, how would that sound? That would teach that Christ also was regenerated, or born again. Mr. Kempin says this has reference to those redeemed by faith. Let us read it like that. "If we have been redeemed together with Christ by faith, seek those things which are above." Many have grossly misunderstood this passage and the one in Eph. 2:6. They do not have reference to our new birth, but to our identification with Christ, our federal head, in His own bodily resurrection. Now, let us read it that way. "If ye then be risen together (bodily) with Christ, seek those things which are above." Christ did have a bodily resurrection, but He never had to experience regeneration, which Mr. Kempin makes the first resurrection to be. And when Christ was raised bodily from the grave God considered us to be raised bodily with Him our federal head. Talk about mutilating the Scriptures, Mr. Kempin and his kind are those who mutilate them.
EIGHTEENTH OBJECTION: THE MILLENNIUM IS BASED UPON AN ERRONEOUS INTERPRETATION OF THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER OF REVELATION.
We do not interpret it. We just believe the interpretation that John the Revelator gives. I have shown that John used the past tense in Rev. 20:4 when talking about the vision and the thousand years. But in the interpretation which he gave in verses 5, 6 he changed to the future tense. Mr. Kempin is the one who set out to give us his own interpretation instead of accepting the one John gave.
Just what a good interpreter Mr. Kempin is may be seen by what he has to say about the dragon. He said, "It was the dragon who was being bound and not the Devil himself." What does God's Word say? "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, WHICH IS THE DEVIL, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years," Rev. 20:3. God's Word says the dragon is the Devil. Mr. Kempin says, "This dragon-power represented pagan Rome, which persecuted the woman, or the church of God, page 39. He is wrong in both places. The dragon is not pagan Rome, nor is the woman the church. Was there any Devil in existence before pagan Rome arose? Has there been any Devil since the days of pagan Rome?
That the woman is not the church is seen from the followings things John said about her:
1. First she is said to be with child. The church is to be presented to Christ as a chaste virgin, II Cor. 11:2. The marriage of Christ and the church is yet future, Matt. 25:10-13. A woman with child is not a virgin.
2. The sun, moon, and twelve stars are connected with the woman. In Gen. 37:9, 10 we find that the sun, moon, and stars are connected with Israel, his sons, and their trouble in Egypt.
3. The woman brought forth the man-child, Rev. 12:5; 19:15, 16. Israel, not the church, brought Christ into the world.
4. John speaks of the remnant of the woman's seed, Rev. 12:17. This points directly to Israel. "Though the children of Israel be as the sands of the sea, a REMNANT shall be saved," Rom. 9:27. The word "remnant" in Rev. 12:17 points to the woman as Israel. The prophecy concerns her trouble in the tribulation, Rev. 12:14-17.
Mr. Kempin's own remarks about the first resurrection do not harmonize. On page 41, after quoting John 5:24, he says this life in Christ is called symbolically the first resurrection. How does this verse read? "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life." If that is the first resurrection, then it follows that everyone that believes in Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years, because John said that those who had part in the first resurrection should reign with Christ a thousand years. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years," Rev. 20:6. How many shall reign a thousand years? John said those who have part in the first resurrection. This means all, not part, who have a part in the first resurrection. If all who believe in Christ are the first resurrection, then all who believe in Christ shall reign a thousand years, the last one who believes in Christ, the same as the first one. The one who believes in Him one hour before He comes back, the same as he that believed in Him when He was first here, if the eternal life in Christ is the first resurrection. That gives everyone who, obtains eternal life in Christ (which Mr. Kempin says is the first resurrection) the promise of reigning a thousand years. But hear Mr. Kempin on page 40: "A careful reading of this passage will show that the only ones eligible for this reign with Christ in this instance were those who were beheaded; no others were included." Since all who have part in the first resurrection shall reign with Christ, as Rev. 20:6 tells us, then no one but those who have their heads cut off are in the first resurrection, which Mr. Kempin makes eternal life. Then no one ever has, or ever will come into possession of eternal life, except the people who have their heads cut off. Mr. Kempin had better be calling for someone to bring the chopping ax and cut his head off before he dies a natural death. Mr. Kempin never read anything carefully. He wholly ignored the first part of Rev. 20:4. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them." This is a group of people distinct from the next ones mentioned who have their heads cut off for refusing to worship the beast. Why do these Non-millennial people want to skip the first part of Rev. 20:4? All of them, both those in the first part of this verse, and the martyrs who are brought in in the last part of the verse, live again and reign a thousand years.
Eternal life in Christ which the believer gets when he believes is not the first resurrection, but such will be in the first resurrection, for that resurrection is the bodily resurrection of the saved. To teach that the first resurrection is regeneration is to teach universal salvation. "The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Here we have the dead divided into two parts. The first part who live before the thousand years, and the rest who do not live again until after the thousand years. Death must be understood in the same sense in considering the first part of the dead who live before the 1000 years, and the rest, or other part of the dead who live again after the thousand years. If the first resurrection is a spiritual resurrection from a death in sins, then the first part was dead in sins before their resurrection. So would the last part be dead in sins before they are made to live again. But since they live again after the thousand years, then all the rest of the people who were dead in sins will be made alive from that death in sins. This would give us the salvation of all men.
Paul tells us there is to be order in the resurrection. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, but everyone in his own order; Christ the firstfruits: afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then (Gr. eita, meaning afterwards) cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he, shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For (because) he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death," I Cor. 15:22-26.
We notice that Paul says there is order to the resurrection. In seeking to have one general resurrection, all at the same time, both saved and last, the Non-millennialists are destroying the order of the resurrection. Paul said that. Christ was the firstfruits. Then, he said afterward, "They that are Christ's at his coming." Why did Paul just point out those who are Christ's as the ones who are to be raised at His coming? Simply because that will be the first resurrection. The resurrection of the wicked is nowhere connected with the second coming of Christ. In I Thess. 4:13-17, Paul discusses the return of Christ and the resurrection of His people. He says, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." Why did he designate the dead in Christ as the dead who shall rise at this time? Simply because the unsaved dead do not rise at this time.
Non-millennialists harp on the expression, "Then cometh the end," and try to make it appear that this means the end will come at that time. But the word "Then" has two meanings. It sometimes means "At that time," but it also means "Next or afterward" at other times. Now, which meaning does it carry in this place? I am willing to stake this whole issue on the Greek and other translations as to whether it means, "At that time," or "Next or afterward." Dr. Goodspeed translates it, "After that will come the end, when he will turn over the kingdom to God his Father, bringing to an end all other government—for he must retain the kingdom until he put all his enemies under his feet." Dr. Williams translates it, "After that comes the end."
If the reader will turn to pages 972, 73 of Young's Analytical Concordance, he will find that the Greek has two words for then. One is "Eita" meaning "Afterwards." The other is "Tote" meaning "At that time." The reference to this passage (I Cor. 15:24) is found under the word "Eita," meaning "Afterwards." Under this word we also find the reference Mark 4:28. Let us read that passage. "The earth bringeth forth fruit of itself, first the blade, then (eita) the ear, after that (eita) the full corn in the ear." Now who would say that the ear came at the same time the blade came, and at the same time the full corn in the ear came? There is an order of events separated by intervals of time. So it is in I Cor. 15:22-24. Paul tells us that every man shall be raised in his own order. There is an interval of time between the first in order, which was the resurrection of Christ, and the second in order, which will be those that are Christ's at His coming. So will there be another interval of time between the resurrection of the saints and the last thing in order when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father. In between the second in order and the last in order will come the reign of Christ and His saints. At the end of that reign is when the last enemy shall be destroyed. By reading Rev. 20:3-14 we find this order. The Devil is bound, verses 1, 2. John's vision of those who live again and reign with Christ a 1000 years, verse 4. John's interpretation shows it to have reference to the first resurrection, and his statement shows that such shall reign a thousand years. At the same time he tells us the "rest of the dead" will not live again until the thousand years are finished. After the Devil is loosed (verse 7) he will stir up another rebellion of the people of earth (some of those who have been born during his imprisonment), and will seek to make war against the camp of the saints. Fire from heaven destroys them, verses 8, 9. The Devil is then cast into the lake of fire to remain forever, verse 10. The final judgment is set and the dead (the rest of the dead who live again after the thousand years) are raised and brought before this judgment, verses 11, 12. They are judged, verse 13. Death and hell (Hades) are cast into the lake of fire along with those whose names are not in the book of life, verses 14, 15. Here we find the last enemy being destroyed. It comes after the thousand years are over. This harmonizes exactly with I Cor. 15:22-26.
There is absolutely no excuse for Non-millennialists being ignorant on I Cor. 15:22-24. They do not have to know Greek themselves. They can purchase "Young's" concordance for $8 or $10, and anyone who can read English can study and profit by it. The Greek words are all spelled out in our letters. Their meanings are given, and the references are all given showing where they are used. If these fellows are really honest and open for the truth, then why do they not investigate these matters before they launch out to teach people things which they know nothing about? Before they set out to overthrow a doctrine they should know what that doctrine is and just the foundation it rests upon. When they start out guessing and assuming they get their foot in a trap before long. To say the least, they should have knowledge enough to know that the word "Then" has two meanings. Since this is so, they should not just blindly seize upon the meaning which is contrary to what is taught elsewhere. They start wrong when they set out to prove that a plain statement in God's Word is not true. In the statement, "They shall be priests of God and Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years," we have a plainly stated fact. Those who set themselves to disprove this put themselves in opposition to the Word of God. They can accomplish nothing but to confuse themselves and others. When a word has two or more meanings a man had better be sure he has the right meaning, and not just the one he wants, when he goes to base a doctrine on that word. I do not wish to be harsh, nor to appear smart, but it is a serious thing with me for men to oppose the truth of God's Word, and hinder those who do preach it. Non-millennialists always make the word "Then" in I Cor. 15:24 to mean "At that time," when the connection, other translations, and the Greek word used in that place all show that it means "Next, or afterwards," and not "At that time." Some are complaining that the millennial doctrine is disturbing the churches. Why is it? Because some are opposed to the truth being preached. The fault does not lie at the door of those who are preaching the truth, but at the door of those who refuse to investigate and believe the Word of God, and who oppose those who are doing their best to teach the people. In another part of this work I shall prove that it was non-millennialists, or those who oppose the thousand years reign, who set the stage for the development of the Roman Catholic system. I shall also show that the same class of people are paving the way to go back to Romanism, and are preparing the way for the beast.
Non-millennialists today are saying let us confine our preaching to repentance. Was that all the apostles preached? Is that the only doctrine taught in the Word of God? That same cry has been made by Methodists and others who wished to shut the mouth of Baptists on Scriptural baptism, proper church membership, and other things Jesus told us to do and teach. That same liberalism paved the way for pulpit affiliation, and union meetings, and has drifted men into the camp of modernism. Any time a man argues that we should cease preaching any Bible doctrine he is just that much of a modernist. He has placed his wisdom up against the wisdom of God, who revealed to us these truths, and he is assuming that God made a mistake in so doing. He has exalted human wisdom above the wisdom of God. That is modernism. We do not propose to listen to their sophistry, but we expect to go on down the road doing our best to preach all the truth of God's Word, plus nothing, and minus nothing.
NINETEENTH OBJECTION: IT LIMITS THE DURATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO A LITERAL THOUSAND YEARS.
This is just another place where Mr. Kempin speaks where he does not know. Premillennialists do not end the kingdom itself with the end of the thousand years. That is just the duration of one of the stages of the kingdom. That is the duration of the reign of the saints of the Lord with Him over this present earth. The kingdom itself never ends. There will be an eternal phase. After the thousand years the kingdom of Christ will merge with that of the Father and will continue without end.
But this objection proves another boomerang for Mr. Kempin. It flies right back and hits him in the face. He quotes Isa. 9:7; Dan. 2:44; 7:14; Luke 1:33 and Rev. 11:15 to show that the kingdom will never end. All of which we accept and believe. But on page 5 he used Isa. 9:6, 7 to prove that Christ's kingdom began when He was first here and that it was now going on through the redemptive work of God in the hearts of men. On the next page he used Dan. 7:13 to prove that this reign commenced after Jesus went back to heaven. On page 33 he says, "When Jesus comes again He will be the judge of all mankind and His redemptive reign will be ended." He meets himself coming back at every turn. On one page he tells us Jesus had His kingdom when He was on earth the first time, and he has this reign immediately associated with His birth, page 5. On the next page he does not have Jesus getting His kingdom until He has returned to heaven. In one place he tells us there shall be no end to His reign, page 43. On page 33 he tells us the reign will end when Christ comes back. The poor fellow does not know whether he is coming or going. He is so muddled he would not know mud pies from egg custard. That is the fix a man gets into who sets out to refute the Word of God. That was just another pit he dug for us and fell into it himself.
TWENTIETH OBJECTION: IT POINTS CHRISTIANS TO THIS EARTH AS A FUTURE HOME.
This is one more time Mr. Kempin shows either his ignorance of the Word of God, or his unbelief in it. The Bible certainly teaches that the saints shall inherit this earth. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth," Matt. 5:6. "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men," Psalm 115:16. "Wait upon the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: WHEN the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it," Psalm 37:34.
The Little Horn of the prophecy of Daniel is the same as the beast of Revelation, and it is after the overthrow of the Little Horn that the saints shall be given the dominion UNDER the whole heaven, which is on earth.
The Little Horn
1. Has a mouth speaking great things, Dan. 7:8.
2. He shall speak great words against the most High, Dan. 7:25.
3. He shall make war against the saints and prevail against them until the Ancient of Days Comes, Dan. 7:21, 22.
4. He shall continue for three and an half years, Dan. 7:25.
5. He shall be associated with ten kings, Dan. 7:8. and 24.
6. After his overthrow then the saints of the most High shall come into possession of the kingdom UNDER the whole heaven, Dan. 7:22; 7:25-27.
The Beast of Revelation
1. He will have a mouth speaking great things, Rev. 13:5.
2. He shall speak blasphemous things against God, Rev. 13:6.
3. He shall make war against the saints (of the tribulation) and prevail against them, Rev. 13:7.
4. He shall continue for three and an half years, Rev. 13:5.
5. He shall be associated with ten kings, Rev. 17:12, 13.
6. After his overthrow the saints enter into the thousand years reign, Rev. 19:20-20:6.
This shows that the beast of Revelation and the Little Horn of Daniel are one and the same person. He will be destroyed when Christ, the Ancient of days comes, Dan. 7:21, 22 and Rev. 19:11-20. After he is overthrown the saints of the Most High are given the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, Dan. 7:27. This will not be in heaven, but UNDER the heaven, or on this earth. Mr. Kempin just simply does not believe the Word of God.
Abraham was promised Canaan land for a possession. God's Word says he died in the faith, not having received the promises: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises." That is, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, and Jacob. God's Word reads : "By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise," Heb. 11:9. That land in which they sojourned was Canaan land and on this earth. God promised it to them, the same country in which they sojourned. But they died not having received the promises. Then they must be resurrected and brought back to the land of promise, Canaan land, in which they sojourned, if they ever inherit that which was promised them. That will put them back on this earth.
Under this same objection Mr. Kempin quotes II Peter 3:10 to show that in the day of the Lord the earth would be burned up. But in that same connection we see that a thousand years is as a day with the Lord. So this day of the Lord will last 1000 years. In Zech. 14:1 the chapter opens by announcing that the day of the Lord cometh. In the same chapter we read where they shall have both summer and winter in that day. "It shall be that in that day (The day of the Lord), that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and winter shall it be," verse 8. Literal earthly Jerusalem is situated between two seas. We see here that we have both summer and winter in the period of time called "The day of the Lord." That will be the day when Christ shall reign over this earth. "And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one," verse 9. It will be at the end of this 1000-year day that this earth shall be burned with fire. How easy to meet Mr. Kempin's heresy.
TWENTY-FIRST OBJECTION: IT ACCOMPLISHES NO MORE THAN CAN NOW BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin says that the presence of Christ can be made real through the Holy Spirit, and that peace that passeth all understanding may be the heritage of every ransomed soul. All of this we admit, but how much more blessed and real will the presence of Christ be when we behold Him face to face in our glorified bodies, in bodies that shall feel no pain, no weakness, no weariness, and where we shall never sorrow anymore? That is as much as to say that not one thing will be accomplished for us by our glorification. This is just another one of Mr. Kempin's bobbles. What will he say next?
I shall prove with the words of Paul, not only that that time will bring greater blessings, but that Paul believed in the future restoration of Israel in that age. "I ask then, has their stumbling led to their absolute ruin? By no means. Through their false step salvation has gone to the heathen (Gentiles), so as to make the Israelites jealous. But if their false step has so enriched the world, and their defeat has enriched the heathen (Gentiles), HOW MUCH MORE GOOD the addition of their full number will do," Rom. 11:11, 12. There we have it in plain words that the restoration of Israel will bring much more good to the Gentiles, than was accomplished by the cutting off of Israel. Israel is now cut off. But she is to be restored and Paul says that will do much more good. But let us read on. "For if their rejection has meant the reconciling of the world, what can the acceptance of them mean but life from the dead?" Rom. 11:15. "These quotations are from Goodspeed's Translation. I will now give Dr. Williams' translation:
"I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall in utter ruin, did they? Of course not! On the contrary, because of their stumbling salvation has come to the heathen peoples, to make the Israelites jealous. But if their stumbling has resulted in the enrichment of the world, and their overthrow becomes the enrichment of heathen peoples, how much richer the result will be when the full quota of Jews comes in! For if the rejection of them has resulted in the reconciling of the world, what will the result be of the final reception of them but life from the dead?"
It has always been astonishing that men could read these verses over and over and never see a future restoration for Israel, and that the future restoration of Israel would bring a still greater blessing to the Gentile world. The people who fight the millennial reign are just ignorant of what they are fighting.
Let us read Dr. Williams' translation of Rom. 11:25, 26: "For to keep you from being self-conceited, brothers, I do not want you to have a misunderstanding of this uncovered secret, that only temporary insensibility has come upon Israel until the full quota of the heathen peoples comes in, and so in that way all Israel will be saved, just as the Scripture says: From Zion the deliverer will come, He will, remove ungodliness from Jacob; and this is my covenant with them when I shall take away their sins."
This show that the blindness of Israel is only temporary, and not to be forever. It will last only UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles is come in. Then it will pass away and they will repent, and the whole house of Israel, both Judah and Israel, will be saved and restored as a nation again. This, of course, refers to only such of them as will be found still living at that time. The Israelite who dies in unbelief will, of course, be lost forever. But here is the point, and the teaching of the Bible in many places, there is to be a great turning on the point of Israel unto Christ after the fullness of the Gentiles has come.
The casting away of Israel brought salvation, or justification to the Gentile world, or the part that believes. The restoration of Israel will bring their glorification, or as Paul says, life from the dead. Our resurrection (the first resurrection), the Lord's coming and the restoration of Israel are all tied up in the same package. Now, since the translations given above have given us a better insight into these verses let us read them in the King James and see if the same thing is not taught.
"If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their (Israel's) fulness? If the casting away of them be the reconciling (justification) of the world, what shall the receiving of them (Israel) be, but life (Our resurrection) from the dead?" Our justification was connected with their casting away. Our resurrection and their restoration will be connected.
How harmoniously this all fits in with Pre-millennial truth! Cast away Pre-millennial truth and many, many of such Scriptures must forever remain an unsolved mystery and a problem that can never be solved.
But there is something else that this age will bring to the earth which this gospel age has never done. It will bring an age of peace. "Therefore Zion for your sakes shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house (That is, the temple) as the high places of the forest. (Here is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Titus in a literal war. This was in A.D. 70. Now, watch the picture change.) BUT in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; (Notice in Zech. 14 that there will be a lifting up, or raising of the mountains in Jerusalem.) and people shall flow into it." The mountain of the house (temple) that was made as the high places of the forest in Micah 3:12, is the same mountain of the house of the Lord in the next verse, which shall be exalted, or elevated above the hills about it.
But let us read on, "And many people shall come, and say, Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, (The same mountain we found in 3:13 and 4:1) and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, (The same Zion that Titus plowed as a field, Micah 3:12) and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (The same Jerusalem that was made heaps in 3:12.) And he shall judge (as a King) among the nations, and rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks (no more wars as in Micah 3:12 which destroyed Jerusalem): nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. BUT they shall sit every man under his vine and his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid (not be made afraid of what? Of wars as in Micah 3:12): for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," Micah 3:12-4:4.
This passage opens up with a prediction of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple by a literal war in the time of Titus. The next word "BUT" introduces something opposite to the prediction of the first verse, Micah 3:12. The mountain of the house, which in Micah 3:12 was made as the high places of the forest, will be established and lifted up or elevated above the hills about. The nations of the earth will come up to this mountain (mountain of the Lord's house) to be judged, and instructed as to what to do. Christ will be the Judge over them at this time. As the result of His rebuke, counsel and authority, the nations will convert all their war machinery into implements of industry, and wars will cease. Then people will not have to flee from their homes before invading armies, but they will sit unafraid under their vines and fig trees. The whole passage indicates that literal wars and their cessation are under consideration in these passages. Oh, how the blundering of men, who have tried to do away with the plainness of this prophecy, has blinded the people. "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken."
TWENTY-SECOND OBJECTION: THE WHOLE MILLENNIAL THEORY IS BASED UPON GUESSWORK.
On page 18, Mr. Kempin said, it rested on the assumption that the world was getting worse and worse. I have shown from the Bible that the world was getting worse and worse. So then it is based upon the teachings of the Bible. Is that "guesswork?" Mr. Kempin does not watch his statements. Now, he says, "The whole millennial theory is based upon guesswork." The "whole" means all of it, not part of it. He says one thing in one place and something to the contrary in another place. About all he knows is that he is "Agin" the thing. He needs to remember every tale he has told.
Under this objection, he speaks about some picking out such men as Napoleon, Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler as the "Man of sin." Well, some picked out John the Baptist as the Christ. But did that argue that the coming of Christ was based upon guesswork? The Bible certainly teaches that the Man of sin will come, and that he will be seated in the temple of God and will be there when Christ returns, and will be destroyed by the Lord at His coming.
"That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God," II Thess. 2:3, 4.
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth (See Rev. 19:11-21), and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming," II Thess. 2:8.
This shows that the man of sin will come and will take his seat in the temple which the Jews will rebuild and that he will be worshipped as God by some. He will be here when Christ returns and will be destroyed with the spirit (sword, Rev. 19:21) of the mouth of Christ.
Now this in no wise argues that Pre-millennialists are urging people to go back to the old temple sacrifices. We believe they have filled their purpose, but the Jews do not. We just simply believe the prophecy that the Jews will go back and renew the sacrifices. Before they are converted they will go back in unbelief and still believing in the worth of animal sacrifices. Because we believe that such things will happen is no sign we believe in those things. We also believe that in the last battle, at Jerusalem, the women will be ravished. Zech. 14:2 says so. But that does not teach that we are advocating rape. Neither is it fair to charge us with advocating a return to the law just because we believe the prophecies which teach that Israel will do so.
II Thess. 2:4 teaches that the temple will be rebuilt. The man of sin could not sit in the temple if there were none to sit in. In Rev. 11:1, 2, we have a prophecy of the restoration of the temple. Dan. 8:10-14 and 12:11 teach the same thing, and that the sacrifices will be restored and then taken away by the "Little Horn." We know this is not in the past because Daniel says: "At the time of the end shall the vision be," Dan. 8:17. This puts the prophecy of the "Little Horn," the restoration of the daily sacrifices, and the taking of them away by the "Little Horn," all down in the time of the end. Daniel is told that he should rest, and stand in his lot at the end of the days, Dan. 12:13. This has reference to Daniel's death, and his resurrection at the time of the end. This puts the prophecy of the "Little Horn" in the future, or at the time of the end of this age.
Because Israel returns in unbelief and restores their sacrifices God will allow the Little Horn, beast, or man of sin to come and take them away. He will take his seat in the temple after taking away the sacrifices and claim to be God or the Jew's Messiah. Jesus said to the Jews, "I am come in my Father's name and ye receive me not: if another come in his own name, him ye will receive," John 5:43. This person will be the man of sin, beast, or "Little Horn."
The fact that there is a lot of guessing as to who will be the person of the man of sin, does in no wise do away with the Scriptural fact that he is coming. The Word of God tells us that he is coming, when he is coming (not the year, but that it will be in the end time), what he will do, but it does not tell us what his name shall be. There is no guess work in any of it, but as to what his name shall be. People, too, have guessed at the time of the end of the world, and many of them have not been Pre-millennialists. But this does not do away with the fact that the end will come sometime. As long as people are guessing about the end of the world, the end has not yet come, but is future. So it is with the man of sin. When he does come there will be no guesswork. The Word of God tells us that he is to be revealed in his time, II Thess. 2:6. Since he has not yet been revealed, and no one knows who he is, then his time has not yet come, but it is future. Pre-millennialists put it in the future.
TWENTY-THIRD OBJECTION: MILLENNIALISM IS ROOTED IN MAN'S QUEST THROUGH THE AGES FOR A GOLDEN AGE.
Again, Mr. Kempin plays right into our hands without knowing it. He said he got the material for this section from a book written by John A. D. Khan, published by the gospel Trumpet, but no longer in print. He should profit better by his reading than he has done. What he has to say only helps Pre-millennialists to prove their doctrine.
Under this objection he points out the fact that the hope of a golden age existed among the Greeks, the Romans, the Hindus, in Persia and Babylon and among other peoples. He says, "The pleasant hope of a renovated earth entirely free from sin and suffering has always created in the thoughtful minds of ancient nations a longing for the dawn of a second golden age."
What is a longing? Isn't it a desire? Then the nations have had a desire for a golden age, in which this earth should be renovated, Mr. Kempin being witness against himself. Well, the Bible teaches that this desire shall come. Listen at this Scripture. "For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations SHALL COME: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace," Hag. 2:6-9.
In this passage the Lord says, "He shall shake the heavens." Immediately after the tribulation, and in connection with His second coming, the Lord said, "The powers of heaven should be shaken," Matt. 24:29. The Prophet Haggai tells us that the earth shall be shaken. Jesus tells us there shall be earthquakes just before His coming, Matt. 24:7. In connection with the battle of Armageddon we read of an earthquake mightier than had ever been on earth, Rev. 16:16-18. Haggai said the Lord will shake the seas. In connection with His second coming, Jesus said the sea and waves would roar, Luke 21:25. Haggai said the Lord would shake the nations. Christ said that in connection with His coming, or just before it, there would be distress of nations, Luke 21:25. Then Haggai tells us that the desire of nations would come. Here is the golden age for which the nations have longed or desired. Haggai tells us that the house of the Lord would be filled with glory, and in that place the Lord would give peace. Here is the golden age for which the nations have longed or desired, and the passage shows us that it will be ushered in by the Lord's second coming.
Whence came this idea and hope among the nations of the golden age? There can be but one answer. It is the leftover of the ideas which they must have learned from Noah and his sons. Infidels have also found a trace of the doctrine of the virgin birth among other nations, even before Christ was born. By this they seek to discredit the doctrine of the virgin birth and teach that Christianity borrowed it from the heathens. The truth of the matter is that it is all a part of the original truth that was handed down to Noah's descendants by Noah, who was called a preacher of righteousness. Of course, as time went on, the promise of one born of a virgin, and of a millennial or golden age for the world, have been changed and corrupted by traditions and the imaginations of men. That is one reason why it was necessary for God to give to men a written revelation, so that such truths could stand out unmarred by the additions and changes of men. Dr. Seiss, in his "Gospel in the Stars," shows that the many myths among the nations had their origin in original revelation, which was given to men through the mouth of such prophets as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Job. Job breathed a hint of it when he said, "I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall see God," Job 19:25, 26. Here Job foretold his resurrection and the Lord's return to the earth at that time. It is only reasonable that the teachings of such men should affect the thinking of the ancient nations. The trouble has been, the Devil has deceived men into believing that man himself could bring about this golden age. The Scriptures show that it can only be brought about by the return of Christ. Mr. Kempin uses the same logic to discredit the millennial reign that infidels do to discredit the virgin birth.
In the last part of this book I shall take up several of the quotations that Mr. Kempin quoted about the writers and teachers who came after the apostolic age. I am going, to turn all that against him. I shall also bring in some historical data that will be an eye-opener.
TWENTY-FOURTH OBJECTION: THE FANCIFUL AGE ENDS IN DEFEAT FOR CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE.
Because the Devil is to be loosed after the thousand years reign and goes out to deceive the nations again, he argues that Christ and His people are defeated. That is just some more of his natural reasoning set up against the Word of God. Was Christ defeated when He was crucified? It might have seemed so. But it was the greatest victory the world has had so far. Neither will it be a defeat for Christ and His saints when the Devil is loosed. It will end in the final and complete defeat of the Devil. God has some wise purpose in allowing the Devil to be loosed after the thousand years whether Mr. Kempin or anyone else understands what that reason is. It should be sufficient for any child of God that the Bible says he will be loosed. "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be (future) loosed out of his prison," Rev. 20:7. Mr. Kempin cannot believe the Word of God like it is. He has to change it and fit it all up to correspond with his ideas, which ideas we have seen, are out of harmony with the rest of the Bible.
Mr. Kempin resorts to ridicule, the tactics of infidels and unbelievers, under this objection. He sets forth a good outline of the 20th chapter of Revelation, the chaining of the dragon, the thousand years reign, and after that the loosing of Satan, and the gathering of his forces to battle. That is the exact order of things as given. But Mr. Kempin finds it impossible to believe that it can be just as John put it. It just does not mean what it says, he thinks. He has to hammer it out on his own anvil and explain away the plain outline which he gave. He can see what it teaches, but he just does not believe it. So it is simply a case of unbelief on his part.
He can't believe what God says because he can't figure out where the Devil gets his forces of evil overnight. Perhaps, I can help him some. A people in the flesh will be (carried over from the tribulation age into the millennial age in their natural bodies. Over these the glorified saints will reign. It will be like it was in Noah's day. Jesus compared His second coming to the days of Noah. God carried over a people in that time to re-people the earth. The new age started with eight righteous people. But these eight multiplied on the earth and their descendants were not all righteous. Isa. 2:8, 9; 65:21-25; Ezek. 37:25; 47:22; Zech. 8:3-6, and Zech. 14:16 show that there will be a natural people on the earth during that time, and that they will multiply. From these will come descendants like the sands of the sea in multitude. During that age there will be no deceiver until right at the end. Lawlessness and violence will be kept down because Christ and His glorified saints will be in power on the earth. But for some reason, not made known to us, many will not believe to the saving of their souls. From among these, who have been born on the earth, after the Devil has been bound, and, who are still un-regenerated, the Devil will gather his crowd at the end of the 1000 years. This will demonstrate at least one thing, and that is, that it is not environment, but the grace of God that makes Christians out of people.
Under this objection, Mr. Kempin said, "All who believe in Jesus Christ will reign with Him now and THROUGH ALL ETERNITY," page 64. But that is not the way he puts it on page 34. There he says, "Paul states that death is destroyed at His coming (Paul did not say it), at the resurrection at the end. Hence, if we are to reign with Christ we ought to do it now." Here he only has us reigning with Him now. But on page 64 he has the believer reigning with Christ eternally, without end. He just meets himself coming back at every turn. Error just can't be made to harmonize with itself.
Our Lord's millennial reign will not end disgracefully as Mr. Kempin would have us believe. It results in His ultimate triumph over the last enemy. The 1000-year phase will end, but His kingdom will go on forever.
That there will be the millennial age. This explains how there will be lost people to go after the Devil when he is loosed after being in prison for 1000 years.
Though some who are born in the millennial reign will not believe and be saved, yet it is evident that a great multitude will, for in the end the children of the free woman will be many more than those of the bondwoman, Gal. 4:27. It will take many more than will be saved in this present age to even begin to fill the New Jerusalem which will be 1500 miles wide, long, and high. One of the purposes of the millennial age is no doubt to make ready for that New Jerusalem and fill it up with redeemed. When we figure how many a city will hold that covers 2,225,000 square miles, and then reaches up 1500 miles high, we will find that it will take far more than have been born on the earth since creation’s dawn. With wars abolished, and human life lengthened into hundreds of years, perhaps, through the thousand years, and infant death abolished, then we can see how the people will multiply in the millennial age. This is not guesswork on my part. Micah 4:1-4 and Isa. 2:2-4 tells us that wars shall be no more in that age. Isa. 65:20 shows us that there will not be any infants die, and that only the sinner shall die at the age of an hundred. The 22nd verse shows that the days of God's people will be as the days of a tree, and that they shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Zech. 8:4 tells us that there shall be men and women of great age dwelling in Jerusalem. The next verse says the streets shall be full of boys and girls. Does this seem marvelous, and unbelievable? Well, listen to what the Lord says, "If this be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts," Zech. 8:6. Goodspeed translates it, "If it seem incredible."
I close this part of the work by quoting Isa. 65:20-25: "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them: and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock."
Non-millennialists never use this Scripture and many more like it. They have no place to fit them in. When forced by others to face them they just say, "It does not really mean what it says. It does not mean that people shall live hundreds a years and bear children. It does not mean that the wolf and the lamb will feed together." On what authority can they say it? They say it for one reason only, and that is to blind the people to millennial truth. They take away from the people the key of knowledge. From the above Scripture we learn:
1. Life will not be uncertain then as now. When one builds a house or plants a vineyard he can know that he will get the benefit of them and not be snatched away by sudden death.
2. There will be no infant death. "No more an infant of days."
3. None die under a hundred years of age. And the sinner only dies at this age.
4. The days of God's elect will be as the days of a tree, and they shall long enjoy the work of their hands. That is why they are assured that when they build a house or plant a vineyard they will live to enjoy the same.
5. They have offspring in this age. "Their offspring with them."
6. The wolf and the lion shall graze with the lamb.
This can be nothing but the millennial
age and shows that there will be a natural people on earth then, and
that they will bear children and live a long time. This is the Word of
God, not the invention of Pre-millennialists. We simply believe what the
Scriptures foretell will come to pass. Any other doctrine must leave
hundreds of Scriptures like this without any meaning or way of being
fulfilled. Other people never quote or teach them to the people. More
than that they oppose those who do bring them up and teach them. We
believe they are there to be believed and taught. Others seem to believe
they are there to be ignored and passed over
God's Word shows that though this be unbelievable in the eyes of men, that it is not in His sight. "If it seems, incredible in the sight of the remnant of this people IN THOSE DAYS, in my sight will it also seem incredible? Zech 8:6, Goodspeed's translation.
HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE
Mr. Kempin made an effort to prove with history that the doctrine of the thousand years reign was unscriptural. He had a lot to say about the controversy over this question in the second, third and fourth centuries. He gave the names of some early writers and bishops who opposed the doctrine, and the names of some who stood for the doctrine. He gave Dionysius of Alexandria the credit for suppressing the doctrine in the East, and Augustine the credit for giving the death blow to it in the West. "Augustine is said to have given a decisive blow to this doctrine in the West just as Dionysius did in the East. His interpretation of the apocalyptic vision became the prevalent view on the subject in the Western churches, and by the influence of his teaching the doctrine of millennarianism was banished from the realm of dogmatics," page 59.
On pages 60, 61, he said the doctrine of the millennium never thrived in Greek Christian soil. He tries to reason from this that the doctrine was a distinctively Jewish doctrine which had been transplanted into the Christian community. But he never got back to the reason as to why the doctrine never thrived in Grecian soil, nor did he tell us the influence under which Dionysius, Augustine and others had been turned against the doctrine of the thousand years reign. Neither did he tell us how it was that Augustine had given the decisive blow to this doctrine in the West. He did not tell us what influence the union of the churches with the state had in causing Augustine to formulate a new position on the millennial reign. Augustine was the first man to proclaim that the Catholic Church in its EMPIRACAL form was the kingdom of Christ on earth and that the millennial reign began with the first advent of Christ. This is the very heresy Mr. Kempin has taught all the way through his book, viz: That we are now reigning with Christ. Augustine, and Ambrose, another man who opposed the old belief in the millennial reign, advocated the suppression of heresy by force. They started the forcible suppression of the old millennial doctrine by the power of the state church. That is how he banished the doctrine from the realm of dogmatics. I am prepared to give the reader all this information and to show how the suppression of the doctrine of the thousand years reign of Christ on this earth prepared the way for the development of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
Mr. Kempin listed Origen, whom he calls the distinguished author and scholar of Alexandria, Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, Jerome, Augustine and Caius, the learned presbyter of Rome, as some who opposed the idea that Christ would reign on earth a thousand years. I am prepared to show that Origen, Dionysius, Jerome and Augustine were all influenced by Greek philosophy against which Paul warned when he wrote, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ," Col. 2:8. Mr. Kempin listed Montanus, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian as some who held to the doctrine of the millennial reign, which Mr. Kempin calls heresy. I shall give others who held to this doctrine and shall show how close was the connection between some of these men and the apostles themselves. Three of these advocates of the millennial reign suffered martyrdom.
A Doctrine of the Early Churches
I shall present sufficient evidence to prove that the early churches held to the doctrine of the thousand years reign of Christ and His saints on this earth. The first proof I shall give is found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, volume 15, pages 495, 96.
"Faith in the nearness of Christ's return and the establishment of His reign of glory on earth was undoubtedly a strong point in the primitive Christian church. In the anticipations of the future prevalent among the early Christians (50-150) it is necessary to distinguish a fixed and a fluctuating element. The former includes (1) the notion that a last terrible battle with the enemies of God was impending; (2) the faith in the speedy return of Christ; (3) the conviction that Christ will judge all men; and (4) will set up a kingdom of glory on the earth. To the latter belong views of the Antichrist, of the heathen world-power, of the place, extent, and duration of the earthly kingdom of Christ, etc. These remained in a state of solution; they were modified from day to day, partly because of changing circumstances of the present day by which forecasts of the future were regulated, partly because the indications—real or supposed—of the ancient prophets always admitted of new combinations and constructions. But even here certain positions were agreed upon in large sections of Christendom. Amongst these was the expectation that a FUTURE, kingdom of Christ ON EARTH should have a fixed duration—according to the most prevalent opinion a duration of A THOUSAND YEARS. From this fact the whole ancient Christian eschatology (Doctrine of the last things) was known in the latter times as Chiliasm (The Greek word for thousand is "Chilia," G. E. J.)—a name which is not strictly accurate, since the doctrine of the millennium was only one feature in its scheme of the future. That a philosopher like Justin, with a bias toward Hellenic construction of the Christian religion, should nevertheless have accepted its chiliastic elements is strangest proof that these enthusiastic expectations were inseparably connected with the Christian faith down to the middle of the second century.
"After the middle of the second century these expectations were gradually thrust into the background. They would never have died out, however, had not circumstances altered, and a NEW MENTAL ATTITUDE been taken up. (Notice that a NEW mental attitude was taken up after the middle of the second century.) The spirit of the philosophical (Greek philosophy) and the theological speculation and of ethical reflections, which began (Notice this) to spread through the churches, did not know what to make of the OLD HOPES of the future. To a NEW GENERATION (Notice this) they seemed paltry, earthly and fantastic, and far-seeing men (I wonder how far they saw) had good reason to regard them as a source of political danger. (Notice this.) But more than this, these wild dreams (Wild to them) about a glorious kingdom of Christ began to disturb the organization (Be sure to remember this) which the churches had seen fit to introduce." End of quotation.
Now let us sum up what we have found from this quotation from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. (The words enclosed in parenthesis are mine. I inserted them to call attention to some important things.)
1. The early churches held to the hope that Christ would return to earth and, set up a glorious kingdom and reign on this earth for a thousand years. The encyclopaedia says it was undoubtedly a strong point in the primitive church.
2. This shows that the doctrine of the millennium, or thousand years reign, is not a new doctrine as many today think.
3. It was inseparably connected with the Christian faith down to the middle of the second century. After that a fight began to be made on the doctrine.
4. After the middle of the second century a new mental attitude had developed, brought about through PHILOSOPHICAL and theological speculation. The OLD HOPES to which the early churches held seemed paltry and fantastic to this new generation.
5. The old doctrine of the millennial reign was disturbing to the new organizations which some of the churches had introduced. The Montanist party, so called because of a leader named Montanus, contended for the continuance of the old millennial hope, and against the hierarchical tendencies of these new organizations.
At this point it is needful to bring before the reader the history of the Alogi and Montanistic parties.
The Alogi and Montanists
As early as the year 170 a church party in Asia Minor —the so-called Alogi rejected the whole body of apocalyptic writings and denounced the Book of Revelation as a book of fables. All the more powerful was the reaction. In the so-called Montanistic controversy (160-220) one of the principal issues involved the continuance of the chiliastic (Millennial) expectations in the churches. . . . After the Montanistic controversy chiliastic views were more and more discredited in the Greek church; they were, in fact, stigmatized as Jewish, and therefore as heretical. Encyclopaedia Brit., Vol. 15, page 496.
On page 198 of Dr. Newman's history we have a short article about the Alogi. We have learned that they rejected the Book of Revelation and the doctrine of the thousand years reign. Now, let us see what heretics they were. (Note: The encyclopaedia spells the name Alogi, Dr. Newman Alogoi.)
"The Alogoi. This term was applied by Epiphanius to those who in the second century opposed the Logos (Word) doctrine of John's Gospel. They are said to have rejected not only the fourth Gospel, but the Johannean Apocalypse (Revelation) and the Johannean Epistles as well. Ephiphanius relates that they not only denied the eternity of the Logos as a person of the Godhead, but attributed the Johannean Gospel and the Apocalypse to Cerinthus, who is elsewhere represented as the archenemy of the Apostle John. . . They are represented as having arisen in opposition to the Montanistic prophecy." End of quotation.
From this we see that the Alogoi party, which fought the doctrine of the thousand years reign, also denied the eternal existence of Christ, and rejected all the writings of the Apostle John. Let our Non-millennial friends take notice of this. Now, let us see what Mr. Newman says about the Montanistic party which stood for the millennial doctrine to be continued.
"We may regard Montanism: a. As a reactionary movement against the innovations that were being introduced into the churches through the influence of Gnosticism and of paganism in general; especially against the emphasizing of knowledge (Greek philosophy) at the expense of faith, laxity of discipline in the churches, and consequently of' morals in the members, against the merging of the churches: in the world, against THE GROWTH OF HIERARCHY," etc., page 202. We have seen that one of the reasons that some insisted on giving up the old millennial hopes of the early churches was that the doctrine was disturbing to the organization some of the churches had seen fit to introduce. The Montanists protested against these innovations, or organizations which were promoting the growth of the hierarchial system. They contended for the continuance of the old millennial doctrine. But the other party which had introduced these innovations which were promoting the growth of hierarchy objected to the millennial doctrine because it was disturbing to their new innovations and organizations. Here we have the beginning of the departure from the truth which was to end in the full development of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The Non-millennial doctrine and the growth of the hierarchy were working hand in hand. It is no strange thing that state churches and episcopal forms of church government have always been antagonistic to the idea that Christ is coming back to the, earth to reign a thousand years.
Doctor Whitby's Testimony
At this point I wish to introduce the testimony of Dr. Whitby concerning the position of the early Christians on the thousand years reign, and the position of Roman Catholics on the doctrine.
"The doctrine of the millennium, or the reign of saints on earth a thousand years, is now rejected by ALL ROMAN CATHOLICS, and by a greater part of Protestants, and yet it passed among the best of Christians for two hundred and fifty years for a tradition apostolic; and as such is delivered by many of the fathers of the second and third centuries, who spake of it as the tradition of our Lord and His apostles, and of all the ancients who lived before them; who tell us the very words in which it was delivered, the Scriptures, which were then so interpreted, and say that it was held by all Christians who were exactly orthodox." "Graves' Seven Dispensations," pages 562, 563.
Here we have further proof that the early churches believed that Christ and His saints will reign on this earth a thousand years. We also see that the Roman Catholic Church rejects the doctrine. I shall bring proof later that the Catholic Church sought to crush out the doctrine of the millennial reign by persecution.
Mr. Kempin tells us on page 60 that the doctrine of the millennial reign was expressly condemned in the original articles of the Church of England. The doctrine of the millennial reign is contrary to the political and religious ambitions of state churches. Instead of waiting for Christ to come back to earth and take over the reins of the governments they want to keep Christ away from this earth and do this reigning for Him themselves. It is easy to see why the new generation who rose up after the middle of the second century were disturbed by the old hope of the millennial reign. That doctrine was not in keeping with their political ambitions and designs.
The Opposition to the Doctrine in the East
The first opposition to the doctrine of the millennial reign had its origin in Greek philosophy. Mr. Kempin said this doctrine never thrived in Greek soil, pages 60, 61. Had he gone into an investigation as to why it did not thrive in Greek soil he might have found something that would have been an eye-opener for him. The encyclopaedia tells us the spirit of PHILOSOPHICAL and theological speculation and of ethical reflections, which began to spread through the churches, did not know what to make of the OLD HOPES of the future, page 496, vol. 15.
To understand this opposition to the doctrine of the millennial reign which sprang out of Greek philosophy we need to study the influence of the culture of the city of Alexandria in Egypt. All the opposition to the millennial reign can be traced back directly, or indirectly, to the philosophical influence this city had on Bible expositors. Dr. Newman says, "Alexandria, the capital of the Ptolmies, became the greatest literary, PHILOSOPHICAL, and SCIENTIFIC center of ancient times," Newman's Church History, vol. 1, page 27. Mr. Kempin has already told us (page 57) that Origen, who opposed the millennial reign was a scholar of Alexandria. He also told us that Dionysius, whom he credits with putting an end to the millennial doctrine in the East, was a bishop of Alexandria. On page, 288 in Dr. Newman's history we read: "Dionysius of Alexandria (200-265) was another distinguished pupil of Origen, and after a considerable interval (during which Heracles conducted the work), succeeded him as head of the catechetical school of Alexandria. The reputation of the school was well sustained by this great teacher, who, after fifteen years of service, exchanged this position for the bishopric of Alexandria."
In order to fully understand the reason why Origen, Dionysius, and Jerome, an admirer and pupil of Origen, opposed the doctrine of the thousand years reign, and the manner in which they opposed it, we need to study about Philo and his allegorical method of interpretation.
Philo, and the Allegorical Method
On page 59 of Dr. Newman's history we read this about Philo: "Philo enjoyed all the educational privileges that Alexandria afforded. Thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Greek philosophy and familiar with Greek literature, he was yet a devout Jew. He was of the opinion that the Greeks derived from the Jewish Scriptures all that was wise, true and lofty in their thinking. It was his task, as it had been the task of others of his type, to show the complete harmony of the divine revelation of the Old Testament with all that is best in Greek philosophy." (Let the reader remember the admonition of Paul, "Beware lest any man spoil you through PHILOSOPHY, and vain deceit," Col. 2:8.) On page 28 of Dr. Newman's history we read, "In Philo, who lived in the New Testament time, we meet with the most elaborate effort to blend Hebrew and Greek thought, and by the application of the allegorical method of interpretation to explain away EVERYTHING in the Old Testament that was out of harmony with the refined Spiritualism of the current modified Platonism." (Plato was a Greek philosopher.) On page 60 Mr. Newman says this about the allegorical method which Philo had adopted: "This, as applied to ancient documents, was not an invention of Philo, or of his Jewish-ALEXANDRIAN predecessors. It had been employed for centuries by the Greeks in the interpretation of Homer. . . . Everything that is opposed to his PHILOSOPHICAL conceptions of God and the universe and to his sense of propriety in the recorded deeds of God yields readily to this universal solvent. . . This corrupting feature of Philo's work was laid hold of by early Christian writers." On page 182 Mr. Newman further says about Philo: "He adopted an allegorical method of interpretation, according to which the literal meaning of the Old Testament was of no account, and a given passage could be made to mean anything whatsoever, according to the fancy of the interpreter." I wonder if this is not why Peter told us, "No prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation," II Peter 1:20.
This allegorical method of explaining away everything he did not like, which method Philo borrowed from the Greeks, was the same method that Dionysius of Alexandria employed in his efforts to outdo those who believed in the millennial reign. The encyclopaedia has this to say about Dionysius: "Dionysius of Alexandria succeeded in healing the schism asserting the ALLEGORICAL (Philo's method) interpretation of the prophets as the only legitimate exegesis. During the controversy Dionysius became convinced that the victory of the mystical theology over Jewish Chiliasm (Millennialism) would never be secure so long as the Book of Revelation passed for an apostolic writing and kept its place among the homologoumena of the canon. He accordingly raised the question of its apostolic origin; and by reviving old difficulties with new ingenious arguments he carried his point. The Greek Church kept Revelation out of its canon, and consequently Chiliasm remained in its grave." (That is on Grecian soil. This explanation Mr. Kempin did not give us. It did not suit his point.)
This allegorical method of Philo's, borrowed from Greek philosophy, was used by Dionysius, Origen, and other millennial opposers of the early centuries. In fighting down and suppressing the doctrine of the millennial reign these men were making way for the introduction of new things in the churches which brought about the growth of hierarchy. Dr. Newman tells us that the Montanists, who insisted on the continuance of the old millennial hopes of the early churches, protested against the growth of hierarchy in their time. Newman's history, page 202, and Encyclopaedia Brit., volume 15, page 496. I have heard modernists use this same allegorical method to explain away the Scriptural account of creation and to try to uphold the theory of evolution. The Non-millennialists of today use the same method to explain away the reign of Christ on the throne of David, the restoration of Israel to Canaan land, the millennial reign and everything that does not conform to their conceptions of things. The modernists of today are following this same old line of Greek philosophizing, and allegorizing, to explain away the plain, clear-cut prophecies of the Word of God and keep the people from believing the truth of God. As the Alexandrian school of philosophy and theology turned many of the early churches away from the hope of the primitive churches and prepared the way for the development of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, so are the modernists and Non-millennialists of today keeping the people in ignorance of the important truths of prophecy, and are leading the way back to Rome and preparing the way for the coming of the beast. In this connection I wish to quote from a speech recently made by Bishop Oxnam, the head of the Federal Council of Churches.
Oxnam Sees Women as Key to Church
Philadelphia.—"When the women of the churches want the union of the churches, the union of the churches will come," Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam of New York told 1000 women here at the luncheon of the department of woman's work, Philadelphia Council of Churches.
He called for union of all Protestant denominations into one Church of Christ, which would then unite with the Eastern Orthodox (Greek Catholic.--G. E. Jones) and afterwards help create one Holy Catholic church to which all Christians may belong.
Bishop Oxnam went on to say, "I would be glad to kneel at any altar and have the hands of Harry Emerson Fosdick placed on my head, symbolizing the passing of the independence and freedom of Baptist tradition to the new church."
Bishop Oxnam is the man who said the God of the Old Testament was a dirty bully. Fosdick is a rank modernist who calls himself a Baptist. He does not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, His resurrection, or His second coming. But he tells us he is looking for the coming of another messiah, who will bring peace to the earth. He says this messiah may now be in his crib in some unknown village. These modernists and millennial haters are wanting a union of all churches. This church federation of theirs will bring all false religion under beast worship. "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the beast), whose names are not written in the book of life," Rev. 13:8.
The Opposition in the Western Churches
"The Western church was also more conservative than the Greek. Her theologians had, to begin with, little turn for the mystical speculation. . . . This, however, holds good of the Western theologians only after the middle of the third century. The earlier fathers, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, believed in Chiliasm simply because it was a part of the tradition of the church, and because Marcian and the Gnostics would have nothing to do with this conception. It is the same through the third and fourth centuries with those Latin theologians who escaped the influence of the Greek speculation. Commodian, Pettavensis, Lactantius and Severus were all pronounced millennarians, holding by the very details of the primitive Christian expectations. As to the canonicity and the apostolic origin of the Johannine apocalypse (Revelation) no doubts were ever entertained in the West. . . . This state of matters, however, gradually disappeared after the end of the fourth century. The change was brought about by two causes—first, Greek theology, which had reached the West chiefly through Jerome, Rufinus and Ambrose; and second, the new idea of the church wrought out by Augustine on the basis of the ALTERED POLITICAL situation of the church. (Christianity had now been made the state church by Constantine and his successors, and a partial union of church and state had been brought about.—G. E. J.) Augustine was the first who ventured to teach the Catholic Church, in its EMPIRACAL form, was the kingdom of Christ, that the millennial kingdom had commenced with the appearing of Christ, and was, therefore an accomplished fact. By this doctrine of Augustine the old millennarianism, though not completely extirpated, was at least banished from official theology. (That is the theology of the state church.) It still lived on, however, in the lower strata of Christian society; and in undercurrents of tradition it was transmitted from century to century. At various periods in the history of the middle ages, we encounter sudden outbreaks of millennarianism, sometimes as the tenet of a small sect, sometimes as a far-reaching movement. And, since it was suppressed, not as in the East, by mystical speculation, its mightiest antagonist, but BY THE POLITICAL CHURCH OF THE HIERARCHY, we find that wherever Chiliasm appears in the Middle Ages it makes common cause with all enemies of the SECULARIZED (state) church. . . In the Anabaptist movements it appears with all its old uncompromising energy," Encyclopaedia Brit., Vol. 15, page 496.
In the above quotation from the encyclopaedia we find a number of things to which I want to call attention:
1. The doctrine of the millennial reign prevailed longer in the Western churches than among the Greek churches.
2. The Latin theologians who escaped the influence of the Greek teaching still held on to the same old hope of the early churches.
3. A change was finally brought about in the West by two causes. The first cause was the importation of the Greek philosophical speculation. The second was the altered political situation the churches found themselves in after Christianity had been made the religion of the state. That was done by Constantine. Mr. Newman said Constantine offered to every convert to Christianity twenty pieces of gold and a baptismal robe, page 307. He also legalized bequests to Christian churches, page 307.
4. This changed political situation required the formulation of a new position as to the millennial reign.
5. The Christians (so called) had ceased waiting for Christ to return and reign on earth, and they abandoned their hope of reigning with Christ in the future, and considered themselves reigning with Christ in this present age. This is the doctrine Mr. Kempin has taught all through his book and the thing Non-millennialists all teach today. It had its origin in the false doctrine of Augustine. It came to them through Roman Catholicism.
6. Augustine was the first to teach that the Catholic Church in its EMPIRACAL form was the kingdom of Christ, and that the reign is now going on. That is exactly what Mr. Kempin and every Non-millennialist teaches.
7. The secularized church (Roman Catholic) suppressed the doctrine of the millennial reign by political force.
8. On page 311 Dr. Newman tells us that Augustine and Ambrose (both Non-millennialists) advocated the forcible suppression of paganism and heresy. Of course, they thought it heresy to teach the old millennial doctrine.
9. Since the millennial doctrine was suppressed by the political power of the state church, then those who believed in the reign of Christ and His saints on the earth suffered persecution for their belief.
10. The secularized church, which did not believe in the millennial reign, was the power that persecuted those who did believe in the millennial reign.
11. Let us put the Scriptural test to this and see who is right. Those who follow Christ and the truth do not persecute, but they suffer persecution. "All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution," II Tim. 3:12. "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the, kingdom of heaven," Matt. 5:10.
12. Lactantius, who is listed by the encyclopaedia as one who believed in the old millennial doctrine of the primitive churches, did not believe in persecution. "Lactantius in the time of Constantine wrote: 'Religion cannot be compelled; nothing is so voluntary as religion,'" Newman's Hist., page 311.
13. The Anabaptists, from whom present-day Baptists came, held on to the millennial doctrine with uncompromising energy.
14. Those who held on to the millennial doctrine through the middle ages were the common foes of the secularized, or state church.
15. Non-millennialism, which had its beginning in Greek philosophy, has been perpetuated through the Roman Catholic church and her offspring, and others who have been influenced by the allegorical method first employed by the Greek philosophers, then by Philo, and last by the opposers of the millennial doctrine in the second, third, and fourth centuries.
Mr. Kempin Witnesses against Himself
Without intending to do so, Mr. Kempin unconsciously witnessed against himself on the millennial question. The same period of time when he almost has the old millennial doctrine banished from the earth is the same period of time he almost has salvation by faith banished from the earth. On page 42 he says, "In between the period of the martyrs and the Reformation, historians bear witness to the Dark Ages when the gospel was supplanted by an authoritarian church which made tradition equal to revelation. During this long night of spiritual darkness, salvation by faith in Jesus Christ was practically an unknown thing save by a few men and women who dared to stand out against the Church of Rome." Then on page 60 Mr. Kempin says, "After this we do not read of millennarianism for a long time. At various periods of the history of the Middle Ages, says Harnack, we encounter sudden outbreaks of millennarianism, sometimes as the tenet of a small sect, sometimes as a far-reaching movement." So the same period of time that Mr. Kempin has the doctrine of a millennium almost unknown is the same period of time that he has the doctrine of salvation by faith unknown. According to Mr. Kempin the gospel was supplanted by the authoritarian church. I have shown from quotations from the encyclopaedia that the same authoritarian church suppressed the preaching of the millennial reign by force. Mr. Kempin says that salvation by faith in Christ was unknown save by a few men and women who dared to stand out against the Church of Rome. On page 497 the encyclopaedia tells us that wherever Chiliasm (Millennialism) appears in the middle Ages it makes common cause with the enemies of the secularized church, that is, the Church of Rome. So the same few who dared to stand out against Rome and preach salvation by faith in Christ were the same few who brought the doctrine of the millennial reign down through the centuries. Rome was the enemy of the doctrine of the 1000 years reign as well as the enemy of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Had the doctrine of the millennial reign never been suppressed in the early centuries in order to make way for the new organizations which produced the growth of hierarchy, against which the millennial believers protested, it is doubtful if the world would ever have had the system of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. The supposed far-seeing men in the second century who feared the millennial doctrine because they thought it brought a political danger, and because it was disturbing to their new organizations, were not far-seeing enough to know that they were preparing the way for such a system as the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. The Lord knew His business when He gave to His people the Book of Revelation, and, had its teachings been followed, people would have been better able to see the trend of affairs.
Antioch against the Alexandrian Method of Interpretation
After telling about the opposition to the millennial doctrine among the Greek churches, and their rejection of the Book of Revelation from the canon, the encyclopaedia goes on to say, "In the Semetic churches of the East (the Syrian, Arabian and Ethiopian), and in that of Armenia, the apocalyptic literature was preserved much longer than in the Greek church. . . . Chiliasm (Millennialism) survived amongst them to a later date than in Alexandria and Constantinople," page 496, Vol. 15. The reader will remember that the missionary church that sent out Paul, Barnabas and Silas as missionaries was the Antioch church in Syria. From this place came the main opposition to the new theology, the allegorical system, and the Non-millennium doctrine that came from the philosophical school at Alexandria. On page 297 of Dr. Newman's History we read the following:
"Reference has been made in an earlier chapter to the catechetical school of Alexandria, founded by Pantaenus and made illustrious by Clement, Origen, Heracles, and Dionysius. Antioch did not so early become a seat of Christian learning, but from 270 onward under Lucian, it came into rivalry with Alexandria as a center of theological thought and influence. In the great Christological controversies of the fourth and the following centuries Alexandria and Antioch were always antagonists. Alexandria representing a mystical transcendentalism and promoting the ALLEGORICAL interpretation of the Scriptures; Antioch insisting on the grammatico-historical interpretation of the Scriptures, and having no sympathy with the mystical modes of thoughts." In other words, the school at Antioch objected to the allegorical method adopted from Greek philosophy, by which all the literal meaning of the prophets were explained away and made to fit in with the higher philosophical and so-called science of the Greeks, so the Alexandrian school of thought promoted the rationalism and the modernism of that day. On the other hand, the Antioch school endeavored to hold to the primitive faith which had been delivered to the saints.
I think enough has been presented to show that the first opposition to the millennial reign came from the Alexandrian school of thought which was endeavoring to follow the philosophy and false science of the Greeks. Dionysius, to whom Mr. Kempin gives credit for overcoming the millennial doctrine, was at one time the head of this school. So was Origen, another opposer of the doctrine that Christ and His saints would reign on earth a thousand years. Jerome and Augustine in turn were influenced by the corrupting influence of the allegorizing method which the Alexandrian theologians had adopted from Philo, who himself, had borrowed it from the Greek philosophers. Is it any wonder that Paul said, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ?" Col. 2:8.
I shall now establish a chain of believers in the reign of Christ and His saints on earth reaching from John the Revelator to Irenaeus who lived in the closing days of the second century.
On page 181, Vol. 18, of the Encyclopaedia Britannica there is an excerpt from a letter written by Ireneaus to Florinus. I quote as follows:
"I can now point out the place where the blessed Polycarp used to sit when he discoursed, and describe his goings out and his comings in, his manner of life and his personal appearance and the discourses which he delivered the people, how he used to speak of his intercourse with John and the rest of those who had seen the Lord, and how he would relate their words. To these things I used to listen, and, at the time, through the mercy of God vouchsafed to me, noting them down, not on paper, but in my heart, and constantly by the grace of God I brood over my accurate recollections."
After this quotation the writer of the encyclopaedia comments as follows:
"These words establish a chain of tradition (John-Polycarp-Irenaeus) which is without parallel in early church history."
All writers credit Polycarp and Irenaeus as believing that Christ and His saints would reign on this earth after the resurrection of the saved for a thousand years. Mr. Kempin himself (page 56) mentions Irenaeus as one who believed the doctrine. For some reason he failed to mention Polycarp. In the Seven Dispensations by J. R. Graves we read the following about Justin Martyr and Irenaeus:
"Dr. Cave, though seemingly opposed to his faith, admits that Justin expressly asserts that after the resurrection of the dead is over, our Saviour, with all His holy patriarchs and prophets, the saints and martyrs should visibly reign a thousand years, and also adds that Justin and Irenaeus held the millennium in an innocent and harmless sense. Dr. Elliott calls him a man to whose learning and piety testimony has been borne by nearly all the succeeding fathers," page 561.
On the same page this quotation from Irenaeus is given:
"It is fitting that the just, rising at the appearing of God, should in the renewed state receive the promise of the inheritance which God covenanted to the fathers, and should reign in it. . . . It is but just that in it they should receive the fruits of their suffering, so that WHERE for the love of God, they suffered death, THERE they should be brought to life again, and WHERE they endured bondage, THERE also they should reign. For God is rich in all things, and all things are of Him; and therefore I say, it is becoming that creation being restored to its original beauty, should without any impediment or drawback be subject to the righteous."
On the same page it is said that Chillingworth says that Irenaeus made the doctrine of Chiliasm (Millennialism) apostolic tradition. Eusebias and Jerome (both Non-millennialists) both affirm that he (Irenaeus) believed in the thousand years reign according to the letter of the Revelation of John; and Whitby allows that he taught that Christ will everywhere be seen, his proof being Matt. 26:29, and adding that this cannot be done by Him while He remains in the celestial regions."
Here is the passage Ireneaus offered as his proof. "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until the day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." This certainly shows that Christ will again drink of the fruit of the vine in a future time.
Justin Martyr is another whom Mr. Kempin lists as a believer in the millennial reign. Dr. Newman tells us that he was a student of the Greek philosophies, but after his conversion to Christianity he renounced all that. "Justin and Athenagoras, who yet, after they adopted Christianity rejected Platonism at the word of demons," page 272. The encyclopaedia tells us that the fact that a philosopher like Justin should nevertheless have accepted its chiliastic elements is strongest proof that these enthusiastic expectations were inseparably connected with the Christian faith down to the middle of the second century, page 496.
Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Polycarp all suffered martyrdom for
their faith. I have yet to read when any of the Alexandrian school ever
suffered martyrdom for their faith
I think I have furnished sufficient proof that the early Christians believed that Christ would return to this earth to reign with His saints for a thousand years. I have traced the original opposition to this doctrine to the Alexandrian school of thought, which was spoiled through philosophy and vain deceit against which Paul warned us, Col. 2:8. They palmed off on the religious world the mystical allegorical method of the prophets by which a passage of Scripture can be made to mean anything the interpreter might want it to mean. It is true that the sacrifices and ordinances of the law were typical. But I have shown that the law had no connection with the Abrahamic covenant. The covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, belong to a separate body of the Scriptures than that of the law. The predictions of the prophets concerning the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land and the rebuilding of the throne of David were not based on the law and its promises and types, but upon God's promises to the fathers before the law age ever came in. It is one thing to use an animal sacrifice as a type, but the direct predictions of the prophets cannot be allegorized and explained away. To do so is to make the Bible a jumbled confusion, and to do violence to the Scriptures. Peter plainly tells us that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, II Peter 1:20. Then we must take them as predictions with literal fulfillment.
OTHER OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED
In the last part of this book I wish to take up some other objections which are often brought against the doctrine of the thousand years reign. Let me say in the beginning that when we find a plain statement of a thing in the Bible that it is dishonoring to God and His Word to go to hunting objections to that plain statement. The Bible plainly says, "They shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years," Rev. 20:6. Since this is the plain inspired statement and interpretation of Rev. 20:4 then we should accept it and not go to hunting up supposed difficulties.
None but Martyrs in the Reign
We often hear it said that none but the martyrs will be in the thousand years reign. Those who offer this criticism, or objection, have certainly not read the passage closely. Let us read it: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:
I saw the souls of them which were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years," Rev. 20:4.
Those who live and reign with Christ include two groups. They include the group referred to as the ones John saw sitting on thrones. John commenced with that group in Rev. 4:4 when he saw the elders sitting on their seats, or thrones. The Revised Version always renders this thrones instead of seats. The second group in Rev. 20:4 are the martyrs of the tribulation age who shall be put to death for refusing to worship the beast. John first mentions them in Rev. 6:9-11.
Then John goes on to explain "This is the first resurrection." Then he tells us that over such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Who would be so foolish to say that only the martyrs will escape the second death? All the people included in Rev. 20:4 are people over whom the second death shall have no power. If only martyrs are included in Rev. 20:4 then none but martyrs will escape the second death. Then all who are included in the resurrection called the first resurrection shall reign a thousand years. To say that only martyrs will have part in the thousand years reign is to say that the first resurrection only includes the martyrs. If the first resurrection be regeneration, as some tells us, then is it only the martyrs who experience regeneration? If the first resurrection be a bodily resurrection of the saved, then will only the martyrs have their bodies resurrected at the second corning of Christ? Since Rev. 20:6 is an inspired explanation, of Rev. 20:4, then all who are included in Rev. 20:6 are also included in Rev. 20:4. If only the martyred dead are included in Rev. 20:4, then all who have died in any other way than by martyrdom are doomed to suffer the second death. Who is ready for such a conclusion? Why will not the brethren cease their fault-finding and accept the old doctrine?
David's Throne Is in Heaven
Some think they can read where David's throne is in heaven. They are poor readers. Let us examine the passage.
"His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne AS the sun before me. It shall be established forever AS the moon, and AS a faithful witness in heaven," Psalm 89:36, 37. The word AS is a comparative word. The throne of David is compared to three things. Its endurance is like that of the sun, moon, and a faithful witness in heaven. In Judges 6:1-6 we read where the Midianites invaded the land of Israel. It is said, "They came up AS grasshoppers for multitude." That certainly does not mean that the Midianites were grasshoppers. They were only compared to grasshoppers. So it is in Psalm 89:36, 37. David's throne is compared to the sun, to the moon, and to a faithful witness in heaven. It does not say it shall be established FOR a faithful witness in heaven, but AS (that is, like) a faithful witness in heaven. Jeremiah tells us that "Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord," Jer. 3:17. Why try to explain away these positive statements?
The Last Day
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day," John 6:40.
There are none mentioned here but those who shall believe and be saved. No unsaved are included in this statement. But the objection is that if they are to be raised at the last day, then they must be raised at the same time as the wicked. Whether our Lord has reference to the last literal day of this present age, or to the period of time known as the Day of the Lord, in neither case can the resurrection of the wicked be made to come then. Concerning man in his natural or unsaved state, Job says, "Man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be NO MORE," Job. 14:12. If two men leave home and one tells his wife that he will be back the last day of the year, and the other - says that he will not return until the year be no more, then the men will not return at the same time. One would return the last day of the year. But the other does not return the last day, because the year is to be no more when he returns. Rev. 20:4-6 shows us that the resurrection of the righteous comes before the thousand years reign. But it is not until the heaven and earth are fled away that the last resurrection takes place, Rev. 20:11, 12. The resurrection in Rev. 20:5, 6 is not the resurrection of Rev. 20:11, 12. The one in Rev. 20:5, 6 is of those over whom the second death has no power. The one in Rev. 20:11-15 is the one over whom the second death does have power. They are the rest of the dead who live again after the thousand years.
Every Eye Shall See Him
"Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him," Rev. 1:7.
This verse must be considered in the light of its context. In verse 5 Christ is called the prince of the kings of the earth. In verse 6 we are told that He has made us to be kings and priests. So the coming of Christ as King of kings, not His manifestation as Bridegroom, is under consideration in this verse. In Rev. 19:11-21 we have John's prophecy of Him coming as King of kings.
The reference to those who pierced Him refers to the Jews as a people. That will be the time when Israel shall receive Him.
Matthew 24:31 "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
It has been wrongfully supposed that this had reference to the coming of Christ for His sleeping saints. By reading Isa. 27:13 we find it has reference to re-gathering, of the dispersed elect of Israel. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the GREAT TRUMPET shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem," Isa. 27:13. Israel is especially under consideration in Matt. 24:15-31.
The critics of the millennial doctrine often call this doctrine Russellism. But it is far from being Russellism. We teach that the wicked will not be raised until after the thousand years are over, whereas the Russellites teach that they will be resurrected in the thousand years and given a chance to believe and be saved in that time. Pre-millennialists put a thousand years between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. Non-millennialists and Russellites do not put a thousand years between the resurrection of the just and unjust. They, not we, are like the Russellites. The Pre-millennial truth is the only doctrine that will successfully refute the second chance theory of the Russellites.
A New Doctrine
Many say the doctrine of the millennial reign is a new doctrine. I have brought proof to show that it is as old as the teaching of the New Testament. It was believed by the primitive churches. It was held by the Anabaptists from whom we Baptists claim to have descended. In 1660 A.D. over 20,000 Baptists presented a confession of their faith to the king of England. In this confession they declared their belief in the order in the resurrection and the thousand years reign. See Seven Dispensations, pages 405 and 487. It has never been a popular doctrine, however, in the prominent theological institutions and the systems that tend toward institutionalism and episcopacy. Those institutions that reject the doctrine of Christ reigning on earth a thousand years are leaning more and more to modernism, even as the Alexandrian school in Egypt which rejected the millennial reign in the early centuries. The preachers who are pulling out from the modernism of the Northern Convention are almost without exception Pre-millennialists.
In the First World War I was associated for nine months with some men in the Y.M.C.A. who were educated in Rochester Seminary at Rochester, New York. These men were rank modernists and bitter opponents of the old Pre-millennial doctrine.
The Battleground of Our Day
As the millennial reign was one of the main battlegrounds in the third and fourth centuries, so it is becoming more and more the battleground today between those who stand by the old Book and the old doctrines and the modernists of our times. It is a ringing challenge to everyone who loves our Lord and believes in preaching the whole truth to stand by His colors. It is no time for compromisers or pacifists. It is high time for those who claim to be with us to quit lending aid and comfort to our enemies. Some of our own brethren are insisting that we quit preaching on prophecy and limit our preaching to repentance and faith. Dionysius and his Alexandrian bunch threw the Book of Revelation out of the Bible. Our brethren are doing practically the same thing. If we are not to study, teach, learn from, and preach from that book, then how much better off are we than if the book was discarded from the Bible altogether? Can't the brethren see the logic of their position? If they were right in their position then they would not be out of harmony with any part of the Bible and the preaching of the Book of Revelation would not be disturbing to them. It was disturbing to the unscriptural organizations of the Greek churches in the early centuries, so they rejected the millennial reign and threw the Book of Revelation out of the canon. It is disturbing to some of our brethren today and they want us to cease teaching the thousand years reign and quit teaching the Book of Revelation. They make no effort to learn the contents of the book and teach the same to the people, and they would hinder and silence the mouths of those who are doing their best under the Spirit to post themselves on the teachings of the book and give to the people that part of the Word of God. They had better be careful. Any time any man would shut the mouth of a preacher from preaching anything that is taught in God's Word, and that God commands to be studied and taught, he is tampering with the things of God. Does God oppose Himself? Did He reveal unto us some things that will hurt His cause if they are studied and taught? What is wrong with these brethren? Have they lost all judgment? Are they wiser than God? Do they know better than God what is good for His cause? When they advocate that we quit preaching everything but repentance they are putting their wisdom up against the wisdom of God. Paul said to Timothy, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works," II Tim. 3:16, 17. Does this sound like there are parts of God's Word and doctrines that are unprofitable, and that should be let alone? Can't these brethren see that in their contention they have already made a long step toward modernism? The spirit that would prompt us to pick and cull the Word of God at will is modernistic and dangerous. These brethren would have us to cease preaching prophecy. But Peter said, "We have a more sure word of prophecy whereunto ye do well to take heed," II Peter 1:19. So they set themselves in opposition to the words and admonition of Peter. I ask, is not this the spirit of modernism? If they neglect the prophetic part of the Scriptures then can they be throughly furnished to all good works? If they fail to teach that part to the people do they not fall short that much in their duty toward God and the people? Does it not become all the worse when they do it purposely and through prejudice and seek to justify themselves in so doing? Isn't it still worse when they criticize the other man for trying to give the people all the Word of God, and seek to shut His mouth?
That part of the Word of God that deals with prophecy is very important. Almost half the Bible is prophecy. Unless a servant of God is informed on prophecy he is unable to know how to avoid unscriptural alliances and entanglements. Many movements that look innocent enough may be headed in the wrong direction. Jesus said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment," John 7:24. No movement can be rightly judged save in the light of God's Word. When men neglect to study or preach the prophetic part of God's Word they may be neglecting the very thing that God put in His Word to enable them to see and understand the character and the trend of that movement. The only way to keep out of the Devil's traps is to keep ourselves and others informed on all that the Word of God teaches, and to watch and pray. That is why Peter admonishes us to take heed to the sure word of prophecy. The Devil knows that if he can keep the people ignorant of the prophetic part of the Word of God he can better put over his programs and deceive more people. We have seen that Rev. 13:7 tells us that the beast is to have power over all nations. If these people who are clamoring for a world government knew where their movement was headed, and the serious consequences involved in the matter, they would certainly keep themselves free from the movement. This is a concrete example of the dire consequences of preachers failing to keep themselves informed on prophecy and instructing the people. In Rev. 13:8, we read that the time is coming when all whose names are not in the book of life will worship the beast. This shows where the federated church movement is headed. If many who are wrapped up in that movement knew where it was headed, and the consequences, they would clear their skirts in that respect. Many who are standing as watchmen are not sounding the warning. They have seriously failed in their duty of instructing the people on this line. What will be their excuse when they meet their Lord? How shall they answer to those over whom they are supposed to watch for their failure to give them instructions and keep them informed? Who, today, besides Pre-millennialists are seeking to warn the people about such movements and telling them where they are headed? If Pre-millennialists did not preach on coming prophetic events and post the people, then who would? In Jeremiah's day the supposed wise men opposed his prophetic warnings and declared that God had not spoken by him. Jeremiah said of them, "How do ye say, we are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribe is in vain," Jer. 8:8. So far as the prophetic part of God's Word is concerned, it may as well not have been written for the Non-millennialists and Postmillennialists. Who is to blame for the widespread ignorance of the people on prophetic truths and what is coming on the earth? Brother, will you not in all fairness ask yourself the question, "Is it I?" If people are uninformed on the meaning of present-day events, how much are you to blame? Can you afford to close your mind and eyes to the prophetic truths of God's Word? Can you let prejudice and preconceived ideas of your own stand in your way? Can you truthfully and wholeheartedly say, "If the Bible teaches that there is going to be a thousand years reign of Christ and His people on the earth I would like to know it, and I would like to learn all I can about it?" Unless you can answer this question in the affirmative you still have a rebellious attitude toward some parts of God's Word. If you are not open to learn any certain truth that is taught in God's Word, then there is something wrong. Can you say, I want to know about this if it is taught in God's Word? Test yourself here. Are you sure it is conviction or prejudice that is holding you back? The question is not, Have I ever heard it preached before? The question is, Does the Bible teach it? Neither is the question, Is it Russellism?'' Is it Baptist doctrine? but Is it Bible doctrine? If I have to deny and cut out a part of God's Word to be a Baptist, then I will cease to be a Baptist. But I can with confidence say, I can still be a Baptist and believe in the doctrine of the millennial reign and all other Bible doctrines.
If you can say from your heart that you want to know and believe this doctrine, if it is Bible doctrine, then you can know. Start with the fact of the thousand years reign. "They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years," Rev. 20:6. Quit trying to pile up difficulties before this plainly stated Bible fact. Commence with the fact and work out from there.
In closing this work offer to the reader this line of thought to pursue that will help him in his study:
1. Make up your mind that you will believe whatever the Bible says even if you do not understand all about it.
2. Make up your mind that a plainly stated truth in the Bible cannot be disproven by some other part of the Bible.
3. Remember that all prophecy of God's Word must have its fulfillment sometime, somewhere, Matt. 24:25.
4. Remember that the system that cannot embrace all Bible truth is not big enough.
5. Any interpretation of the Bible that must discard a plainly stated truth in God's Word is a wrong interpretation.
6. God's Word plainly states that certain persons "Shall reign with him (Christ) a thousand years."
7. This statement from God's Word demands your honest attention and may not be waived aside.
8. Since it is in the Bible, then what will you do with it?
9. All animals ate herbs, not flesh, in the beginning, Gen. 1:30.
10. Another age is coming in which animals will eat grass again, Isa. 11:6, 7.
11. Do you have a place for this in your system of interpretation?
12. There will be weaned and sucking children in that age, Isa. 11:8, 9.
13. Serpents will be harmless to these children then, Isa. 11:8, 9.
14. What will you do with this prophecy and at what age will you put it?
15. Isn't it a fact that all children must have parents?
16. Does not Jesus teach that glorified people do not marry and will therefore not bear children? Luke 20:34-36.
17. Then must we not look outside the ranks of the glorified saints for the parents of the children in Isa. 11:8, 9, and Isa. 65:23?
18. Do these things seem marvelous to you? Then read Zech. 8:3-6 and see where the Lord says it is not marvelous in His eyes.
19. Does not a kingdom have to have subjects as well as heirs and rulers?
20. Since "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," I Cor. 15:50, then must not those who are heirs and rulers of the kingdom be in their resurrected or glorified bodies?
21. Does this not show that the saints must have their resurrection before they can do their reigning?
22. Is not the resurrection of the body of the saints under consideration in the 15th chapter of First Corinthians?
23. If flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, then must not the saints who are to reign with Christ and inherit the kingdom have their resurrection before they do their reigning?
24. Is this not exactly what Premillennialists teach about the first resurrection and the thousand years reign?
26. Do not confuse the heirs of the kingdom, who must be in their resurrected bodies, with the subjects of the kingdom who will be in their natural bodies.
27. Are the heirs of a kingdom and the subjects of a kingdom the same people?
28. There are three phases of the kingdom to be reckoned with, Mark 4:26-28.
29. The millennial reign is only one of these phases.
30. Jesus taught that the twelve apostles should sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Matt. 19:28.
31. This makes necessary the re-gathering of those twelve tribes, so Jesus taught the re-gathering of Israel.
32. This makes necessary the resurrection of the apostles before they can reign over re-gathered Israel.
33. This puts the resurrection of the saints before their reigning, even as taught in Rev. 20:5, 6.
34. The apostles are to sit on their thrones when Christ sits on His throne, Matt. 19:28.
35. The apostles cannot do their judging until Christ returns, for we read in I Cor. 4:4: "Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come."
36. Jesus says He will sit on the throne of His glory when He comes in the glory of His Father and the angels with Him, Matt. 25:31.
37. Since the twelve apostles are to sit on their twelve thrones when Jesus sits on His throne, then they will sit on their thrones when Jesus comes back and sits on His throne.
38. When Jesus comes back the saints will have their resurrected bodies, I Cor. 15:22, 23.
39. Since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God then the twelve apostles must be resurrected before they can sit on their thrones and inherit the promise Jesus gave to them.
40. Jerusalem is to be called the throne of the Lord, Jer. 3:17.
41. At that time the twelve tribes, over which the twelve apostles are to reign, including both Judah and Israel, are to be re-gathered to their land, Jer. 3:17, 18.
42. There were mysteries about the kingdom that were not made known to the old prophets, Matt. 13:35.
43. One of these mysteries was that the kingdom was to have three phases, Mark 4:26-28.
44. They only saw the kingdom enduring without an end, Isa. 9:7.
45. They foresaw the events of the millennial age, but did not see that phase as separate from the eternal phase.
46. It remained for the New Testament to make known the three phases, Mark 4:26-28, and to give us the length of the phase of that kingdom on this present earth, II Peter 3:7, 8, and Rev. 20:4-6.
47. Let the reader carefully examine the outline above, giving careful attention to the references given.
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726